KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A local nonprofit is helping get people off the streets and into recovery.
Footprints, Inc. partners with the Missouri Department of Corrections to work with around 400 people, providing services they need for a second chance.
Through Footprints Inc., there's the Wayne D. White Recovery Community Center on the corner of 45th and Troost.
Marvin Robertson said inside, there's help and hope.
The center works with homeless veterans and ex-offenders, similar to Robertson's story.
"There's a cliche that says if you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem, and I feel like I've been part of the problem for so long," Robertson said. "Because I've been just existing, not contributing."
For 19 years, Robertson battled with drug addiction.
"I was using cocaine quite heavily and I went to treatment," he said. "As a result of treatment, I was reacquainted with Footprints because Footprints has an outreach program."
The recovery center partners with the Missouri Department of Corrections and drug courts, working with people in the criminal justice system.
Through the outpatient recovery program, clients are paired with a certified recovery coach and work on an individual recovery plan.
Executive Director, Michael Liimatta says by saving one life, it could impact another person searching for sobriety.
"We believe by helping them find recovery , get off the streets, it's a very effective way of you know at least reducing crime and making sure lives are saved and people have a chance for a different way of life," Liimatta said.
Through education, meetings, counseling and fellowship, Robertson said it brings hope to those who may need it.
"Whatever you're seeking, that type of hope and that type of resources are here, they really are here," Robertson said. "If you don't believe me, ask me, I'm here."
Many of the counselors, were also once in the system.
"I make them feel comfortable," Substance Use Disorder Counselor Dr. Carlota Boles said. "Explain to them who I am and who I used to be and who I am today. So, they feel now that if I can go through what they're going through, it's a hope for them."
"I had to be separated from my family and go to a women's recovery home, transitional living and then continue my counseling," Peer Support Specialist Stephanie Greer said.
Now 29 years sober, Greer is helping other women on the path to recovery at Footprints Inc.'s M.A.M.A's House.
Robertson said he just celebrated one year of sobriety and is now an employee at the recovery community center working to become a certified peer specialist.