Hello, my name is Jake Fleming and I am a Peer Specialist at Northeast Treatment Centers, but first and foremost I am a grateful & blessed recovering alcoholic and drug addict.
I have been asked to talk to you about my story. On February 28th, 2008, I surrendered to alcohol & drug abuse. I knew I needed treatment after 30 years of alcoholism & drug addiction. I would not be alive today had I not received treatment. I was homeless, destitute, sick physically & mentally.
Receiving cash assistance and medical insurance helped me get in a recovery house and to outpatient treatment.
I was told by the doctors at detox that had I not sought out help when I did I probably would not have lived 2 more months. That’s how sick I was. With the assistance I was able to receive, I was able to have a place to live, receive treatment for my abuse, recover, and complete the program.
I have been clean & sober for 4 years now. I am employed, paying taxes, supporting myself and my 14-year-old daughter, whom I neglected for years.
If the budget proposed by Gov. Corbett goes through, the impact will be devastating to the city as well as the state. Homelessness will skyrocket as people seeking treatment in recovery houses & treatment programs will have nowhere to go.
We recently did a survey of clients at the NorthEast Treatment Center and asked if they lost these benefits, how would this affect them and 80% stated they would be homeless. Many of them believed that they would basically have no choice but to resort back to what they know, for instance, burglary, prostitution, drug dealing and more abuse, instead of receiving the help they so desperately need.
Where is the shared sacrifice? As I stated I know I would not be alive today, supporting my child who needs me, and be a productive member of society had I been denied the help I was asking for.
This assistance SAVED MY LIFE! Please do not pass this ridiculous budget. If it is passed, it will be ugly out there. People will die. I am living proof of what the assistance can do.
Jake Fleming to the Philadelphia City Council Committee on Public Health & Human Services Hearing