Keifer Moreland's story could easily have ended at the age of 12.
"I was a heroin addict, and my lifestyle was out of control," said Moreland.
In November of 2010, with the help of the City Gospel Mission, he got clean.
And then, he got hired at Green Recycling Works, a business that works in cooperation with the Mission. It picks up recyclables, sorts them, and sells them. It's been up and running for 3 months now, and already lives are being changed.
For Moreland, now a 20-year-old, it's not just a job. The company's director, former Citibank executive Matthew Long, now hires former addicts and teaches them how to hold down a job, be accountable, and rejoin society.
"It's absolutely insane. I go back and think about when I met some of these guys, and where they were coming into the Mission at that point in time, and now, I can have a business expense and reach into my pocket and hand them cash and know that it isn't going to get used for drugs," said Long.
Moreland graduated from the Mission's Exodus program, and says although he still has a long way to go, he's worked hard and had tremendous help becoming a new man.
"I'm rebuilding my relationships and I'm rebuilding my life really," he said.
Long goes above and beyond to help his employees succeed, making himself personally available to them 24/7, something he says makes a difference in keeping people on track. The company also prides itself on removing some of the common stumbling blocks to people re-entering society. They provide employees bus tokens until their first paycheck, uniforms down to the steel toe boots needed, and moral support to help them learn the ins and outs of being part of a workforce.
"I look at Keifer and really from 12 to 19 he was a user. He was stoned," said Long. "There's no other way to describe it. And now I look at Keifer and he's 20 years old. I think back to when I was 20, what was still ahead of me in my life? And if we can keep him off of drugs and alcohol, what's ahead for him? It's tremendous."
But ultimately the job Moreland is doing is only temporary. It is his time with Green Recycling Works, his clean drug tests, his on-time attendance and trustworthiness that will hopefully earn him a full time job and possibly lead him to a career.
To those who may be concerned about hiring someone with a criminal record, Long says he personally stands behind his men. After 25 years with Citibank and several more as a church pastor, Long says he knows what people want in a new hire, and the company has strict standards for its workers.
This year, Keifer Moreland and his entire family had Thanksgiving dinner for the first time in Moreland's life. Now, as Christmas approaches, he wants only one thing.
"Just being with my family," he said. "The materialistic things are there but really the relationship with my family and that they accept me back is the biggest Christmas gift that I could receive."
Green Recycling Works needs customers in order to be successful, and ultimately employ more people recovering from addiction. It offers great rates, and a way to give back to others at the same time. If your organization needs a recycling service, you can reach them at 513-800-8855 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, May 23 2013 4:38 PM EDT2013-05-23 20:38:55 GMT
For 12 years Denise Glasford's sister fought in the Army, but died last year on Memorial Day. "Thinking about her and wishing she was still here with us," Glasford said. "It's been a tough year for the family." GlasfordMore >>
Glasford and her niece and nephew are three of dozens of family members paying tribute to soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice. Here at Fort Gordon's Warrior Remembrance Memorial Day Ceremony, they're honoring those killed, and remembering those they left behind. Soldiers say the national holiday is much more than a day off from work to barbeque and celebrate.More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 3:16 PM EDT2013-05-23 19:16:52 GMT
Ryan David Jones/Source: RCSO
Friends and neighbors now say the Jones Family, Edna, Roosevelt, and Russell, are the victims of a suspected triple homicide in South Augusta.The Richmond County Sheriff's Office has been investigatingMore >>
The Richmond County Sheriff Office has charged Ryan David Jones with 3 counts of Murder and Possession of a Firearm during the Commission of a Crime.More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 8:10 AM EDT2013-05-23 12:10:07 GMT
The images we're seeing in Oklahoma having a heavy impact on viewers around the country and here in the CSRA. Lindsay Findley says she was heartbroken when she found out about it. "It's just so sad toMore >>
Thirty disaster relief volunteers and vehicles have been sent to Oklahoma; three of them from the Palmetto region. And at any moment, volunteers with the Aiken chapter could be deployed.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 11:34 PM EDT2013-05-23 03:34:56 GMT
Susan Swanson owns the Augusta Care Pregnancy Center on Broad Street. There is a two hour limited parking sign in front of her company but she says no one enforces it. The parking limit downtown has beenMore >>
Susan Swanson owns the Augusta Care Pregnancy Center on Broad Street. There is a two hour limited parking sign in front of her company but she says no one enforces it.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 11:20 PM EDT2013-05-23 03:20:40 GMT
A vigil for the family members killed in a suspected triple homicide was held at the Augusta Deliverance Evangelical Church Wednesday night. The vigil for Roosevelt Jones, Edna Jones and their son Russell JonesMore >>
A vigil for the family members killed in a suspected triple homicide was held at the Augusta Deliverance Evangelical Church Wednesday night.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 8:42 PM EDT2013-05-23 00:42:44 GMT
It's been two days since a tornado ripped through Moore, Ok nearly destroying the town along with two schools; now one local school is re-evaluating their safety plans. Even though it's the last weekMore >>
It's been two days since a tornado ripped through Moore, Ok nearly destroying the town along with two schools; now one local school is re-evaluating their safety plans. More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 8:39 PM EDT2013-05-23 00:39:09 GMT
Mobility, the company that runs Augusta's Public Transit, is now suing the city after the Richmond County Commission voted to terminate their five year contract. Mobility's attorney Robert Mullins toldMore >>
Mobility, the company that runs Augusta's Public Transit, is now suing the city after the Richmond County Commission voted to terminate their five year contract.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 10:53 PM EDT2013-05-22 02:53:51 GMT
Family, friends and fellow officers said goodbye to Deputy Alton Creech Tuesday morning. A funeral was held at First Baptist Church on Walton Way. Deputy Creech crashed his motorcycle on I-20, lastMore >>
Hundreds attend the funeral of Deputy Allen Creech.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 10:51 PM EDT2013-05-22 02:51:46 GMT
Carole Timmerman lives on Ferree Place in Graniteville and after a severe storm rolled through Aiken County Tuesday, she had to watch where she stepped. "It's horrible, it's so dangerous," said TimmermanMore >>
Aiken County Emergency Management officials say there were wind gusts up to 80 miles per hour. The strong winds uprooted trees, caused power lines to fall and tore into homes. More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 10:30 PM EDT2013-05-22 02:30:22 GMT
Patrons may lose a popular shopping area in Aiken. The Aiken Mall has been foreclosed after the owner stopped making payments on the interest of the property in April.The Aiken County clerk of courts sayMore >>
Patrons may lose a popular shopping area in Aiken. The Aiken Mall has been foreclosed after the owner stopped making payments on the interest of the property in April.More >>