Fernando is the youngest of seven children. He grew up in Carpinteria where he attended school, but he started getting into trouble at an early age. Fernando had his first experience with alcohol at the age of five. As a teenager, he wasn’t drinking all of the time, but he often drank enough to pass out.
In high school, Fernando fell in love with a girl who would ultimately become the mother of his child. He struggled with confusion and an inability to get close to other people. The only place he could find comfort and belonging was in the gang lifestyle. It was also an environment filled with drugs and alcohol.
At the age of 25, Fernando started using meth and within two years he had lost his home, girlfriend and son. He landed in jail several times and hit rock bottom. He said, “With my addiction and all its consequences, I’d become one pretty messed up individual.”
On November 4, 2013, Fernando entered our 12-month Residential Recovery Program. At that time, he did not know the whereabouts of his son. Fernando reflected, “I learned to have faith, to surrender, to trust, and I finally realized that I’m not alone. God put me in a wonderful place.” Today he is spending every weekend with his son and he’s working full time.