Monte Twin knows what it's like to try and remain clean while homeless. "The shelters aren't a good option because many of the other clients are in the throes of addiction... too much temptation," he explains.
Twin spent his first 90 days of sobriety sleeping on the streets. Since then, Twin has dedicated his life to helping other Native people who are in recovery stabilize their lives.
Twin operates several support groups for Native Americans struggling with addiction. "Cultural sensitivity is a significant aspect of our meetings," he says. "The peer-to-peer structure creates a bond which results in greater success for our people."
Next month, Twin, with support from Catholic Community Services, will launch First Nations Housing and Recovery Project, a transitional housing program for homeless Native men. The program will offer 12 to 24 months of housing, coupled with case management, recovery meetings, and job training opportunities.
"We hope to provide a cocoon of emotional and mental security," he says, "so that clients can achieve the life skills and independence they need to seek out their own housing."