Many know the feeling of having an old, beat up car that works pretty exclusively as a method of transportation from point A to point B — no frills, no extras, just a vehicle on its last legs.
For the residents and staff of the Forsyth County-based addiction recovery nonprofit No Longer Bound, beat up, clunker vehicles like this are an everyday reality.
To help, visit nolongerbound.com/vans/
“We have a nice word for our vans: ‘careworn.’ That’s a nice way of saying they are beat up bad,” said Edward Bailey, executive director of No Longer Bound. “We do an incredible job saving these men’s lives and reconciling them with their families, but something that we don’t do great is providing them with transportation.”
No Longer Bound is different than a traditional addiction treatment facility; they focus on the root of addiction and getting families back together.
“The mission statement is rescuing addicts, regenerating men, reconciling families. So we are not a rehab center. When you rehab something, you return it to its former state. To regenerate something is to make something brand new,” said Rena Olsen, marketing director at No Longer Bound.
Currently, Bailey and No Longer Bound are asking the Forsyth County community to help them solve their van problem. According to Bailey, the problem is simple: Every day as many as 40 men who are yearlong residents in recovery at No Longer Bound file into a fleet of vans that are almost ready to fall apart.
From the chipped and peeling white paint exterior to the inexplicably missing arm rests, head rests and interior upholstery, it only takes a glance at the inside and outside to tell that the vans have had a rough life.
Bailey said the organization is asking for a total of $100,000 from the community to replace three of the aging vehicles with something a little newer and safer.
“We do our very best to keep our guys safe, and take care of them … we do want them to be as safe as possible. We want our guys to get in something that makes them feel like they are special or important or worthy of being loved, because that’s something they haven’t felt in a long time,” Bailey said.
Olsen said the group hasn’t gotten around to replacing the aging vehicles in the past years because they have been putting the majority of their time and effort into the programs they offer their residents.
“The reason we haven’t bought them before is because we are investing in the men,” she said. “With the growing crisis of addiction, resources are going into the program for the accreditation of our instructors … you know it’s like the vans keep getting ‘back burnered’ as the crisis continues to grow.”
No Longer Bound has been in Forsyth County for 26 years, and Bailey said that in the past they have found the community open to giving the organization help in times of need.
“We are super fortunate to live in a community that is this great. The only way that NLB has been here for 26 years is because of our community,” he said.
Bailey said that anyone willing to give to their ongoing van campaign should visit their website at nolongerbound.com/vans/.
“This gives the community a way to really get invested in this problem with addiction, because I think we see this problem and it’s so big we don’t know what to do and how to help. So this is a way we can come together as a community and say ‘well here’s a point of influence where I can make a difference with someone dealing with addiction,”’ he said.