Starting over at Home on the Range
Sunday, January 23, 2011
Jared Curtiss, 25
Where he’s been: Curtiss worked in construction for six years, much of the time under the influence of drugs and alcohol. He lost his house, driver’s license and, eventually, his job. He couch-surfed for months before deciding to get clean. He battled his addictions on his own for nine months before entering Home on the Range.
Where he’s going: Curtiss is currently working as a supervisor at Royal Ridges and is living at Home on the Range as a resident assistant. He plans to continue speaking to kids, youth groups and the homeless. He wants to complete his college degree, work to get out of debt and then attend ministry school in Mozambique, Africa. He then wants to start or become a member of a ministry program in Tanzania.
“I’m going to help a lot of people for the rest of my life,” he said.
Devin Jacob ‘DJ’ MacDavid, 18
Where he’s been: MacDavid was addicted to heroin and alcohol. He was homeless for six months before arriving at Home on the Range. He stayed with friends for a couple of months before running out of options and taking shelter in a cardboard-recycling bin behind Battle Ground High School.
“I realized how many friends I didn’t have,” he said.
Where he’s going: MacDavid plans to continue working in youth ministry and play worship music at his church. He has a job lined up as a part-time mechanic when he graduates from the Transitional Youth program. He also plans to return to work as a tree trimmer, which he did prior to entering the program.
Chris Winkel, 21
Where he’s been: Winkel was homeless and using meth-amphetamine for four years and had been drinking alcohol since he was 14 years old. When he was using drugs or alcohol, he would get into fights. He started robbing people, which landed him in and out of jail. After a year of “trying to get my head straight,” Winkel arrived at Home on the Range.
Where he’s going: After graduating from Home on the Range, Winkel plans to move to Alaska to work on a boat for three months and then attend equestrian college. After college, he wants to work for Christian horse camps and make a life for himself in Alaska.
“I want to stay around this atmosphere for the rest of my life,” he said.
Jamison Bryant, 18
Where he’s been: Bryant was using and selling drugs as a teenager. He had been kicked out of his home. He was on the streets of Portland one day when he saw his aunt, who told him about Home on the Range. He went to rehab at Lifeline and then moved to the house two months ago.
“This is just kind of me time,” he said. “It’s soul-searching. … Every day you’re working on something. When you’re out there, a lot of people don’t know who they are, where their souls are.”
Where he’s going: When Bryant graduates from Home on the Range, he plans to move to New York, where he will manage a dirt bike store his grandmother owns.
Edward Oeck, 18
Where he’s been: When Oeck was 17, he was in and out of juvenile detention eight times. When he wasn’t in juvenile detention, he moved from couch to couch and lived on the streets, using drugs and alcohol. He was hospitalized several times for drug overdoses.
“I was on the path to self-destruction,” Oeck said. “I was hurting myself and everyone along the way. I wanted to die.”
Where he’s going: After Home on the Range, Oeck plans to move into Home in the Suburbs for two years. He wants to save money, start a family and stay involved in his church community.
“I finally have hope,” Oeck said.