December 2017 Guild Matters: You Make an Impact Every Day


Notes on The Ladder of Hope from Our Executive Director, Julie Bluhm

It was so exciting to participate in my very first Ladder of Hope events this fall! Sixteen people, served by Guild, contributed to the events by telling their stories this year.

I was so moved by each of them and am overwhelmed by their courage. It’s incredibly difficult to tell the stories of one’s worst times, but to do it in front of a crowd of over 600 people is quite another feat.

Our featured speakers, Nico and Ken, shared their stories of struggle and triumph through their life journeys, marked by experiences with mental illness, trauma and chemical dependency. Guild had the privilege of being part of their stories, through the staff members who helped to facilitate their recovery.

Nico’s ongoing struggle with anxiety, depression, and addiction often left him homeless. “It was a crummy hotel at best – a park bench at worst,” he recalls. With help from Guild, today he celebrates one and a half years in his apartment and two years of sobriety.  Read Nico’s story.

Ken began experiencing symptoms of mental illness in his early teens. By the time he reached adulthood, the untreated symptoms were worse, and Ken was afraid to leave his apartment. With Guild’s help, today he says, “I work. I socialize. I go to the grocery store. I can drive on the highway. I couldn’t do any of that before.”  Watch Ken’s story.

Between the two events, 1,123 guests, met Nico, Ken, Jack, and other individuals we serve. It was incredible to see so many dedicated supporters in one room. We are so grateful for you, Guild’s extended family: those who have consistently supported our mission over the years and those who attended the Ladder of Hope event for the first time. The work that we do at Guild can be hard; the energy we received from you at the events fuels us throughout the year.

The world is full of complicated problems, and we’re all surrounded by seemingly insatiable need. It’s so hard to want to make an impact, but not know how to help. With your support, Guild staff work hard to find solutions that impact and improve life every day for individuals, families and communities – all of us.

Our sincere thanks to:


December 13, 2017

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