July of 2017 1st Step Male Diversion Program welcomed the first participant in the program. Just two years later 1st Step is impacting for good the lives of over 20 young men.
1st Step has been blessed with many fantastic stories about how young men are overcoming addiction, criminal thinking, and becoming good taxpaying fathers and partners. One such story is Joseph Biddle a soon to be graduate of the 1st Step Program.
Shortly after Joe graduated from high school he was introduced to marijuana and methamphetamine by “friends”. His drug addiction meant that he could not hold a job and his life became “a mess.” He isolated himself from his family and that began a downward spiral that led to Joe being arrested on three felony cases. The cases all hinged on Joe’s drug addiction. He was offered a 15-year sentence in the custody of the Department of Corrections. Fortunately, his Public Defender sent in an application to the 1st Step Program. Meth is not an easy drug to walk away from and Joe struggled but he never quit trying. Today Joe is employed full time at a good-paying job. He is in a committed relationship and has gotten married. The family is expecting a child in January of next year. He and his wife have goals. His wife wants to go back to school and get her GED. He wants to go to college and find a church home for his family. Joe has been employed part-time or full time for most his tenure in the program. He has paid over 3,000.00 in taxes since he has been in the program. His life is a “complete 180” and he now places his family first.