Meet Carl

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Pioneer's Skagit County in-jail Residential Substance Abuse Treatment (RSAT) program is a quiet success story in itself. You may not have read about the program before, but individuals who have been through the program have expressed their gratitude. Read a letter we received from Carl who is now a healthy and successful member of his community.


Today, I feel safe, secure, valued and respected as a human being. I am pretty proud to tell you that my life has really turned around and I am currently working, going to college and living in my own apartment in a clean and sober building. I have lived in Skagit County all of my life.  After many years of incarceration, I was connected to the Residential Substance Abuse Treatment in Skagit County Jail that Pioneer Human Services operates. The services in the program really stuck as I learned about my disease in jail and then received the guidance, care and resources I needed to stay clean and sober after I was released.

Growing up, I was surrounded by alcohol and drug abuse in my family so I started experimenting. By the age of 13 years old, I was a daily user. After dropping out of high school, my addiction grew and I was in and out of jail for years. I tried to get clean and was in numerous intensive outpatient programs but I had no place to go that was safe while I was in my recovery and I always ended up slipping back into old habits. As my legal troubles rose, things really got out of hand and I ended up in prison.

My future options were slim, so when my over-worked counselor in prison informed me I could be released early to my father’s home, I grabbed at the chance to get out even though I knew my father was a chronic alcoholic. It only took two days of living at home for me to start drinking every day again.

I ended up in jail a few more times and the last time I knew I was at the end of my rope. It was like a miracle when a jail deputy appeared at my cell and asked me if I had drug or alcohol problems. The question brought me to tears because I was so desperate for help. I was invited to join an in-jail Residential Substance Abuse Treatment (RSAT) program operated by Pioneer Human Services and jumped at the chance. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life.

I attended a Moral Reconation Therapy  (MRT) program where I started to learn how to ask for help and get honest about my role in the events in my life. Taking responsibility and being accountable for my actions are all important steps in recovery. Things started to click and my addiction was now being explained to me.

When I learned that I was going to be released from jail I was filled with joy and fear. I informed the deputy that I was going to be homeless on the streets. She told me that my Pioneer after-care case manager, Alette , who was part of the in-jail treatment program, was going to help find me housing. Within an hour of being released from jail Alette was there and took me straight to the Oxford House.

The next day Alette picked me up and took me shopping for clothes, bedding and even a new phone.  I felt like for the first time I had a fighting chance. The financial assistance helped pay for my rent and other needs and was a life saver when I was transitioning out of jail and concentrating on my recovery.

Without the continued help, resources and encouragement from Pioneer I wouldn’t be where I am today. Alette urged me to seek continuous counseling and find more support in the recovery community. It was so clear that she really cared about me and my success was a priority for her. I have always been very reluctant to attend any kind of recovery program in the past but I reached out to the recovery community and started attending a 12-step support group. I even got myself a sponsor.  

With Pioneer’s support, I have become active in my community and in AA.  My new job required that I have a driver’s license and Pioneer helped me with the fees so I could get my license. I am now an insured driver. My job also has been a stabilizer and gives me the resources to make payments on my court fines – something I could never do in the past.

The moral support from Pioneer’s professionals and the financial assistance I received for my rent and other needs was a life saver when I was transitioning out of jail and concentrating on my recovery. Believe me – I would not be in recovery and experiencing this life without the help and support from the Skagit County In-Jail Treatment Program.  Forever grateful!