Miracle Mountain to Helping Hand: Former SOME Client Turned Employee Reflects on Her Journey

2014 marked the beginning of an amazing journey for a member of our Senior Services team.

Laverne Chappel Success Stories 1Fifteen years ago, Laverne Chappel was struggling with substance abuse addiction. After being referred by a friend, she enrolled in SOME’s substance abuse treatment program and participated in our inpatient treatment in West Virginia. Reflecting on 2014, she mentioned, “My addiction was very serious. I really needed help.”

SOME’s substance abuse treatment program offers comprehensive treatment options that empower men and women to break the bonds of addiction, reunite with their families, and rejoin their communities. Each person is evaluated during their initial appointment, or intake, to determine the most effective treatment plan. Many alumni refer to our inpatient facility in West Virginia as “Miracle Mountain” due to the many transformations that occur there.

Ms. Laverne was able to go to West Virginia and get the help that she needed, but that is only the beginning of the story.

After completing SOME’s substance abuse treatment program, she began looking for employment. After being terminated as a second-grade teacher due to a previous police record, a friend encouraged her to apply online to be part of the on-call staff at SOME.  She would eventually be hired full-time and then promoted to Program Coordinator.

SOME helps staff and clients alike eliminate barriers to employment and be successful. About 20% of SOME staff began their SOME journey as clients.

Laverne Chappel Success Stories 2Laverne Chappel has now been a SOME employee for six years and is currently a Program Coordinator at Kuehner House, SOME’s affordable housing program for seniors. One of her main responsibilities is coordinating the community weekly meeting with the seniors in the community.

They haven’t been able to get together in person for almost a year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the seniors have recently been enjoying playing games, doing educational readings, puzzles, crayons, and crossword puzzles, which they take to their rooms from the community room. The activity that Ms. Laverne is most looking forward to is being able to resume the Kuehner House birthday parties at the end of each month—during which every birthday for that month is celebrated on the same day.

“My favorite thing about my job is making people feel comfortable and safe,” said Ms. Laverne. “We help people from all walks of life, including people who have experienced abuse, neglect, and mental illness.”