Harvey Howard grew up in Wynnewood, Oklahoma. After he graduated high school, Harvey married his high school sweetheart at 18 and became a father within a year of his marriage. For several years, Harvey lived a settled-down life in Denver, Colorado, where he worked in construction. However, life changed for Harvey after his divorce when he was 27 years old. “My drinking years didn't start until I got a divorce...that's when I knew I started to have a problem,” Harvey says.
Harvey experienced substance use disorder and alcohol use disorder for several decades. A few years ago, he decided he needed to make a change in his life. Harvey left Denver, Colorado, and moved back to the Kansas City, Missouri area, where he stayed at a detox program. After he went through a detox program, he went onto the Salvation Army ARC (Adult Recovery Center), a Christian-based work therapy program. “It was hard work, but it was a good program,” Harvey says about the Salvation Army ARC. After staying at the Salvation Army ARC for a year, he came to Benilde Hall.
Harvey says that Benilde Hall felt like a personal program and that the staff are caring individuals. “The counselors are the greatest,” Harvey says. “I just felt comfortable there.” His favorite class at Benilde Hall was the DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy) class. He liked the DBT class so much that he went to the morning and evening classes to learn as much as possible. Harvey advises anyone starting their recovery journey to “find a good friend” to lean on. Harvey and another client (who has since graduated from the program), worked together with former Executive Director, Kent Jewell, to start Benilde Services, the lawn care and maintenance work program at Benilde Hall.
Religion and his involvement in a mutual support group have also helped Harvey in his recovery journey. “I can't do it on my own, and so I chose God to help me and just turn my life over to God. I just had to turn everything over, my drinking, all my problems and everything to Him and just let Him give them to me a little bit at a time.” Sobriety has changed Harvey’s life in a significant way. “I have more energy. I feel healthier,” Harvey says. Harvey is happy to be close to his family in Kansas City. In the present day, Harvey works in Facilities at Sheffield Place. Harvey says that he loves his life in recovery. “By the grace of God, I'm still sober.” Harvey’s sobriety date is March 3rd, 2014.