One local Kodiak man runs a sober living program from his home and has been helping people for 29 years. Lucien Bernard says Kodiak Lighthouse is a faith-based program which works on addiction and what’s going on inside a person’s head.
“We have so much excess baggage inside of us – how we were raised and all that stuff is stored in there and eventually it catches up to us and that’s about basically what it is, and allowing God to come in and work on us individually, at where we’re at, and that’s important.”
He says his faith helped him reach sobriety, but his recovery began through talking with other people who experienced alcoholism. Their stories made him realize that he was not alone, and that opened his eyes.
“And once they were opened, next thing I had an addiction with is double dip ice-cream every day, but I started working on myself, you know. Main issue for me was anger, and I started working on that, and then all these personal things that happened in my life.”
He says an individual’s connection to other people also struggling with addiction may influence them to return to their old lifestyle.
“There’s a lot of people that been through the house and for a season they get kind of dried out, but then they’re ready to go back to the street, and I can’t help with that. But they’ll come back. They always come back. But the people they know on the street, some of them have been with each other for years, and that’s their family out there, and that’s what keeps them tied to the streets.”
Bernard says he has a four bedroom house and a garage with two beds. He says he charges $400 a month for rent and helps his boarders with everything from going to the doctor to job interviews. He also runs them through lessons every morning during which they go over a step study from the Celebrate Recovery program.
Bernard says the renters serve themselves for breakfast and lunch, and they eat together for dinner. He says he helps renters to get food stamps and asks them to invest 200 dollars in stamps for the house to share – a setup in which he participates. He says his income comes from a disability check, and he invests money in the Lighthouse program on a regular basis.
Despite a lack in ready funds, Bernard is constantly on the lookout for more beds and rooms to expand the program. He says there’s a possibility on the horizon.
“And I can’t name names, but hopefully I’ll have a chance to get locked in with like 14 units and plus several apartments, and that would just be a godsend for me.”
Bernard says he is open to receiving donations. You can contact Bernard at (907) 539-6527.