Former client celebrating three years of recovery and his college graduation in December
Tickets Now On Sale for Third Annual Fundraiser – Thursday, Oct. 12
DALLAS – Just two blocks from a homeless camp under a south Dallas bridge, 50 men are sitting around tables in a run-down, crowded facility, staying laser-focused on rehabilitation and redemption through an intense program of spiritual growth, clinical counseling, social support and military leadership training. John Miller, executive assistant of The Men of Nehemiah for three years, knows all too well the daily challenges these formerly homeless and addicted men are battling, for he once walked in their shoes.
A 2000 graduate of Highland Park High School who was raised with both privilege and love, Miller certainly doesn’t look the part of those typically seen shooting up drugs in a parking lot or passed out cold by a tent under a bridge. Yet today the 35-year-old man is sure that without the help he received starting in 2013 from The Men of Nehemiah, he could easily still be in one of those places – or worse yet, dead.
“I grew up in the Park Cities in a home filled with faith and love. I had everything I needed, yet still felt empty,” stated Miller, in a press release.
Addicted to drugs and alcohol since the age of 17, no amount of expensive rehab was able to help the senior at Southern Methodist University. Miller’s full-throttle plunge into self-destruction left him living in his car until he sold it for drugs during his final semester of college.
“One Sunday morning in 2013, a street friend of mine encouraged me to walk a mile for a hot meal. The message of The Men of Nehemiah’s ‘Bread of Hope’ church service touched my soul to its core. What was I doing? How did I get here? And more importantly, could I get out?” stated John, who stutters and has struggled with his weight and a clinical diagnosis of social anxiety disorder. “The next day, I walked back to organization and asked for help.”
Miller worked tirelessly through the regimented program for nine months and graduated working as a plumber for the first time in 2014 – only to find himself relapsing for two drug-fueled weeks. After calling for help and recommitting to the program, he realized the material world’s call for money and power was no longer priority, and dedicated himself to working full-time for The Men of Nehemiah. He is celebrating three years of sobriety this fall while attending school full-time, completing that postponed degree from SMU in December.
On Thursday, Oct. 12, The Men of Nehemiah will host its third annual fundraiser. Miller’s mother, Kay Miller, is chair of the event.
The Men of Nehemiah Concert, featuring Christian recording artists Shane and Shane
A celebration fundraiser opening with The Men of Nehemiah Choir, followed by Shane and Shane, a dynamic praise and worship duo known for their celebrated guitar work and trademark harmonies. www.shaneandshane.com
Thursday, Oct. 12
Gateway Dallas – 12123 Hillcrest Road, Dallas, 75230
- General Admission – $25 per person
- Concert begins at 7 p.m. – doors open at 6:30 p.m. for general admission ticketholders.
- VIP Reception (by invitation only) – 6-6:45 p.m.
- Purchase tickets or sponsorships at https://menofnehemiah2017.auction-bid.org/microsite/.
- For more information, contact Cjones@themenofnehemiah.org or call 214-421-6705.
Located in South Dallas, The Men of Nehemiah is a ministry and recovery program for homeless and formerly incarcerated men with addictive disorders by providing residential accommodations, substance abuse treatment, counseling, life skills, job placement training, case management and an array of other recovery support services. This unique program blends a proven counseling and treatment regimen with Christ-centered principles and military discipline. The highly-structured recovery program is based upon 15 Biblical Principles which embrace the 12-step recovery model, as well as a robust military-style component which provides healthy disciplinary training.
The Men of Nehemiah was born out of an Army Colonel’s desire to save his son. Pastor Louis Harrel, Sr. – a former colonel in the U.S. Army and superintendent in The Church of God in Christ – originally established The Men of Nehemiah in New Orleans, LA in 1994 to help his addicted son, Louis, Jr. Following the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the junior son moved his family to Weatherford, where he met Roger McCasland, president and CEO of community development corporation Operation Relief Center. The south Dallas businessman shepherded the Louisiana transplant, mentoring and leading him to eventually establish The Men of Nehemiah in south Dallas in February 2010.
Program costs of The Men of Nehemiah are approximately $1,500 per man, per month to feed, clothe, house, train, counsel and disciple – significantly less than the cost of incarceration, which averages $2,500 a month per individual. The cost of Men of Nehemiah is also nearly 10 times less than it would cost to send each man to a for-profit rehabilitation facility.
The projected yearly budget for The Men of Nehemiah with a 50 bed capacity is $900,000. Nearly 50 percent of its graduates are gainfully employed, clean and restored in right relationship with their families and communities within three months of graduation.
ABOUT THE MEN OF NEHEMIAH
The Men of Nehemiah’s mission is to educate and otherwise support the family unit. The support will serve to empower the male figure and place him back into the home and community, as well as support the mother and teach the children. The program’s ultimate goal is to provide housing in order to stabilize and strengthen the family to become a functioning, healthy, self-sustaining unit. Both clients and families are educated and counseled throughout the nine months required for ministry graduation. Families are encouraged to learn their loved one’s issues and are introduced to how family dynamics can contribute to addiction and/or relapse through Family Education Groups.
ABOUT LOUIS HARRELL, JR. – FOUNDER OF THE MEN OF NEHEMIAH, SOUTH DALLAS
Louis Harrell, Jr. battled addiction for 20 years and has experienced the transforming power of the gospel of Jesus Christ. He has more than 17 years of experience working in ministry and the social service arena. Louis served as the program director of the community social service organization that evolved from The Men of Nehemiah program founded by his father in Louisiana in 1994, which provided a weekly clothing and feeding ministry for the homeless, a residential substance abuse and transitional housing program for homeless men, a technology center, a job-training program for at-risk youth, a developmental program for adolescent females, and a “Weed and Seed” after-school tutorial and literacy training program for youth. Additionally, Louis, Jr. served three years as the facility supervisor of the New Orleans Mission, providing services to more than 100 homeless individuals daily.