FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. – Addiction recovery requires steadfast support and no hurricane was going to stand in the way of the Open Door Re-Entry & Recovery Ministry’s ‘Under the Harvest Moon’ Gala, held at the Hammock Beach Resort in early December.
Sharing raw and emotional stories from their darkest days to life-changing moments, a dozen speakers representing success stories to those currently in the nine month, four phase recovery program spoke from the heart about the impact Pastor Charles Silano has had on their lives.
Led by a faith-based mission, Silano, who has experienced the highs and lows of addiction himself, is in the tenth year of helping transform lives in Flagler County. Each one is a soul saved including his own, and they will tell you, all glory goes to God.
“He always had a call on my life, I always ignored it,” said Silano, empowered now by following what he said is God’s plan for his life.
“It’s been more than 30 years since I’ve done any kind of a drug and it’s just a wonderful thing to be able to give back to our community. God gave me a burden when I came out. I realized how hard it is to just get out of the jaws of justice. It’s tough if there’s not some kind of support group for you to fall back on when you’re trying to actually do the right thing.”
Starting with the vision he’d carried for 19 years, in 2012 Silano began the Open Door Re-Entry & Recovery Ministry, purchasing the first men’s group home in 2013. Several years later a women’s home was added to the ministry, and in 2019 the men’s transition home became a reality, bringing the total property equity close to $600,000.
In addition, the ministry operates Big Johns Appliances, with proceeds supporting the Open Door Re-Entry & Recovery Ministry needs.
“I want to tell you, it’s hard to get sober. Turning your life around, by the Grace of God even, is a tough deal.”
Why Is All This Important? It Helps Leverage the Bigger Picture
Unveiling what has the potential to become a trendsetter across the recovery landscape, Silano and Curtis Ceballos, CEO of Invisacook, Inc. shared their vision for a tiny home recovery community with big opportunities known as ‘InvisaPark’.
Meeting by chance during the summer Food-a-Thon hosted by Flagler Broadcasting, Silano and Ceballos shared stories – Silano of his mission, Ceballos of a sister and mother-in-law struggling with addictions.
“In putting this project together it’s going to help in the recovery efforts for the Open Door Ministry and Charles Silano and his efforts to not only go from recovery to transition and help these people realize a goal – that they can have skin in the game and they can become productive human beings in society once again,” said Ceballos.
“I’m not a religious person at all, but I am very spiritual. I have my own personal relationship with God,” said Ceballos. “The things that we are trying to do with Charles and the people in this room, are going to help them take that step forward.”
“This is what we plan on doing with the equity we have. We plan on doing it one way or the other but we could do it a whole lot faster with your support,” added Silano as guests filled out their donor cards.
The Alternative Approach
Silano was candid about the challenging pathway to recovery, offering a tough love alternative to the long-term, medically assisted treatments that some in the recovery industry say keep addicts in the throes of their addiction, under the guise of recovery.
“Medically assisted treatment has a miserable history of failure,” he said. “It is not full recovery when you change from one addiction to another. You’re still in bondage.”
Not opposed to the use of medically assisted treatment during the early detox period, it’s the long-term dependency that worries Silano.
“It’s a big sell. It’s a burgeoning industry. Flagler County is fertile ground. It may help with detox, and I want you to know how I know what I know – I go to jails and I go to state prisons. If you talk about medically assisted treatment to the prisoners, they will tell you that they have been bamboozled,” shared Silano of the medically assisted treatment options.
Under the Open Door Re-Entry & Recovery Ministry program, by setting expectations and incorporating faith-based principles, Silano said he has seen success with those who have willingly completed the program.
“I tell people this, we have a 100% success rate if you apply the program to your life.”
For more information on the Open Door Re-Entry and Recovery Program, visit www.opendoorrecovery.org.