LIMA — A man who once struggled with addiction has opened the doors to help others who are suffering.
Terrance Grant, 49, of Lima, is a Jefferson Awards finalist. His hard work is evident upon stepping into Grace Transitional Living Community, a faith-based recovery program for addicted men that Grant founded. The West Wayne Street facility provides men with housing and a structured schedule that includes employment assistance, support groups, Bible studies to help them along for a six- to 12-month period.
“I started seeing the issues the Lima community was having with alcoholism and drug addiction and mental illness. I myself have been in recovery myself since April 24, 1994,” Grant said. “I give credit to God on that. It was by His grace that I was able to do that. But during those years, I found myself in a fellowship, a 12-step recovery program. And I learned to live without such things as drugs and alcohol.”
For Bobbie Spence, Grace TLC director and his Jefferson Awards nominator, she said he was putting things lightly. She said his dedication and story “took her breath away.”
“And the story he shared with me, he was just ready to throw up his hands and give it up, and step out in front of a truck,” she said. “When he woke up in the hospital, he knew that God had another plan for his life. He sought counseling, he sought help for his addiction, and he began having a closer relationship with God.”
Once Grant was in recovery, he felt the need to help others. Grant began doing research and networking in 2008, starting with a facility on South Elizabeth Street. In July 2011, Grace TLC has grown into three residences on West Wayne Street, where up to 24 men can stay at a time. There are currently about 12 men staying there. Within the first month, men are to enroll in a 12-step program, attend church at least once a week, and try to find a job.
On Tuesday afternoon, a group of the men were preparing dinner on the stove: beef stew with mixed vegetables. Mike was checking on the food.
“I’m not going through the rest of my life like I had been,” he said, who’s been staying at Grace TLC since January. “I’m getting some more spirituality and getting down to the important things in life.”
Spence said Grant has continued to be incredibly dedicated to the organization.
“He’s given an endless amount of time, an endless amount of his own money, and has never taken any pay for anything he’s done,” she said.
Grace TLC is a nonprofit, and receives funding from the Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Allen, Auglaize and Hardin counties. Many of the things they receive, including furniture and beds, are donated. In addition to the organization, Grant works as a carpenter and is an associate minister at the Mt. Olivet Missionary Baptist Church. He’s also worked with ReEntry Coalition, Citizens Circle, Open Gate, Faith Partners, Men of Faith and Oksoberfest.
Grant is happy to see how far the organization has come, and has enjoyed seeing it blossom.
“I always wanted to do something to help other people,” he said. “I’m learning as I grow, and things are working out. Right now I just try to follow God’s lead.”