Sunrise Helps Lester Find Family Support

Lester* entered Sunrise’s Cumberland Adventure Program (CAP) in Bronston at the age of 17, coming from another program where he had been admitted twice for drug rehabilitation. He had a background related to neglect, substance use, witnessing domestic violence and substance use within the family (where he was encouraged to participate), and behavior issues. His frame of mind was that he would never be able to live differently. And he was lacking the support he so desperately needed.

Lester’s family members, who were not involved in the substance use, had been distancing themselves from him and other members of his family. Sadly for Lester, his mother passed away in 2017. This, along with the substance use issues, set him in a downward spiral that led him back to rehabilitation. Plus, this time he had legal charges and truancy issues regarding school that further complicated his problems.

Although he had been in intensive therapy environments several times prior to CAP, he had always been released back to the same environment and people for whom he had always known and been involved with in a negative manner, until he decided to reach out to an aunt after several weeks into the program. The aunt had asked to be put on his contact list, and the Sunrise team at CAP pursued her. She lived a positive lifestyle and was willing to help be a support if Lester would let her. At first, he resisted contacting her and wanted no relationship. Eventually, after being encouraged to take this step, he broke down and called her.

Lester has gone through several stages and changes since he has been in CAP regarding his present life and his future. He has become close to several positive family members who are showing support and want to see him succeed.

Last Christmas, he returned from a visit where he had gone with his aunt and uncle to a family Christmas party. He spoke of meeting family whom he had been told “thought they were better” than the other family members he had grown up with.

But to Lester’s amazement, these family members were supportive. He said that they knew he had graduated from high school at CAP and was to start college the next month (something nobody had ever dreamed would be a reality for Lester). He went on to share with pride how they encouraged and supported his decision to go to foster care after discharging CAP and enter the independent living program.

Lester has worked hard to graduate high school at CAP and to gain self-control and self-confidence. He no longer has to look to others for approval or to tell him what he needs to do. He has set a goal, has a support system, and has the knowledge, self-awareness, and self-control to overcome any obstacle that tries to hold him back.

The Sunrise team walked with Lester as he sought out and found family members who truly loved him. And as we celebrated with him, it became clear that his family had expanded to include all of the Sunrise team who had provided him with treatment, care, and love during this part of his journey.

When you give your support to this ministry, you become part of the Sunrise family, and you’re expressing your care and love to kids like Lester. Because of you, Lester is finding his confidence, his purpose, and his home.


*Name changed to protect the identity of the individual.

Jake Pelfrey