Class putting construction skills to use creating ‘sober traveling bus’

Local News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Several area organizations are working together to renovate an old school bus, but the transformation is more than physical.

“We can always accomplish a whole lot more together than we can on our own,” says Jeffrey Sorrell Founder and Executive Director of the Life Enrichment Center. “We focus on exchange charity versus one-way charity.”

The Life Enrichment Center is collaborating with Miami Valley CTC and Good Shepherd Ministries to overhaul a bus and make it into what they’re calling a “sober traveling bus.”

The construction class is taught by Miami Valley CTC at the Life Enrichment Center; students are putting the skills they learn in the classroom to refurbish the bus.

“We started out with tearing the whole thing apart, and then figuring out what was wrong with the floor and if we had to make any modifications,” describes Chad Meeks who is the Project Manager with Good Shepherd Ministries.

The bus was purchased through a grant and will serve a number of purposes.

“We’ll be able to go out in the community in some hard hit areas of addiction, just plant that seed, share testimonies, and hand out sweatshirts, socks, food, clothing,” says Shawn Trapp, the Program Director with Good Shepherd Ministries, who helped come up with the idea of transforming a bus. “What we want to do is show people we can reinvest in the community. We can help people out–because when we help people out, it’s actually helping us out in our recovery.”

Trapp himself is coming up on six years in recovery.

“We’re all just a bunch of recovering addicts, and this place has allowed me to get my life together, and go in the right direction,” admits Sean Samko with Good Shepherd Ministries.

He’s been sober for nearly a year and recently got his diploma through the Life Enrichment Center.

“I thought I could do it on my own, and I couldn’t. Now I have all of the tools to combat my addiction,” says Samko. “Everybody makes mistakes. It’s about getting your life back on track and know that people can still do a good job.”

The group works on the bus a couple times a week for several hours at a time.

“It honestly means a lot–because during my addiction I didn’t really care about anyone else or how they felt,” says Jordan Halsey with Good Shepherd Ministries who’s been sober seven months.

Chanel Caver is taking the class with MVCTC to work towards her diploma.

“You’re just ready to grow and have what you never had,” says Caver, who says it was a time to make a change.

They’re all making progress in more ways than one.

“To be able to change my life around and to be able to give to the next person — It’s something new to me. It’s a really good feeling to be able to step back and look at your progress at the end of the day and realize that you did something good for the community versus tearing it down,” says Halsey.

While they hope to have the bus completed sometime in the summer, this is the just the start of the journey.

“Seeing people do better and grow as a person–It’s really a humbling experience for me,” states Meeks.

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