MDC Community News for Summer 2016


Mark Pereboom, CEO

Last year at the MDC Share Breakfast, keynote speaker John Quiñones shared the story of his journey from poverty to success as a journalist and host of the TV show, “What Would You Do?” His story showed how, with the help of an education made possible through a program similar to MDC’s College Bound program, he
was able to create a successful career and inspire others.

Your support last year helped MDC provide:

• More than 1,300 high school students with additional educational help,

• 1,800 clients with treatment for mental health or substance use disorder,

• and 222 clients with connections to employment to improve their financial resources.

This year we have an opportunity to come together and join our resources to improve the lives of the more than 1,762 individuals who are currently experiencing homelessness in Pierce County. This is a 37% increase in homelessness across Pierce County since 2015.

Join us on September 15th for the
fifth annual fundraising breakfast to amplify the impact of the services MDC provides at the intersection of housing and health for those with
low incomes.

During his address, John shared a quote from news anchor Peter Jennings, who urged him not to worry about interviews with movers and shakers, but rather to focus on the moved and the shaken. This year’s Share Breakfast is our opportunity as a community to support the moved and the shaken, and to make our community a better place for all of us in the coming year.






“I gained a lot of insight about what led to my relapses and the changes I needed to make.”

In and out of recovery since 2010, Patty found it difficult to maintain her sobriety, relapsing again and again with little hope for long term success.  Patty made attempts at recovery by visiting a local methadone clinic daily, to get back on track.  She found temporary success in this but in 2013, while pregnant, she relapsed and went
into labor.

“Right at the end of my pregnancy, I had a relapse and went into labor and unfortunately the result was me losing custody of my son.”

The stress of losing her child intensified her struggles with sobriety, and she found herself spiraling.  “I did a lot of beating myself up and staying in the same environments and didn’t know how to find my way out.”  She decided she needed treatment and went into in-patient for three months.  During that time, she realized the importance of her life and how important it was to be reunited with her son.  She worked out the steps she needed to take to get there.   “I knew I could not go back home because I would not stay sober.”

She sought a transitional living program for women in sobriety, with a community partner.  While in the program, she began out-patient treatment at MDC, where she immediately connected with the counselors.  She recalls specifically MDC’s Relapse Prevention group.  “That was a very rewarding group.  I gained a lot of insight about what led to my relapses and the changes I need to make.  I think it had a lot to do with my own readiness.”

Patty’s determination led her to seek career guidance at MDC’s employment program.  She did not want a “dead-end” job, but rather a career that would allow her to serve the community that helped her.

“School was the way I wanted to go.  I met with an MDC career advisor at Tacoma Community College and have started full time in the Human Services program.  It has been such a great experience and I’m really glad I made this choice for myself.”

Patty is grateful to MDC for the successes in her life and she reminds herself daily of how important it is to seek counseling after a relapse.

“I want people to know that just because you are struggling with whatever, especially with drugs and alcohol and relapse, this is a relapsing disease, unfortunately, but it’s what you make of your relapse that matters.  MDC is here to help.  There are also so many other services here at MDC.  It’s just wonderful that you can come to one place and get help in many different areas.”



“I was in a position before where everything was temporary until I found MDC.”
At 62, Eric had been a functional addict off and on for roughly four years.   He held a job and owned his own construction company, but could not maintain sobriety long enough to keep up with day-to-day responsibilities.

“When you’re on drugs, you don’t care about going to work or being on time.  Because of my addiction and my heat stroke in 2005, I’m trying to come back from all of that.”

He sought in-patient treatment from a community partner organization for 28 days. During that time, he began to notice how much his dental health suffered.  From broken and missing teeth to infected mouth abscesses, Eric suffered much pain and discomfort, both mentally and physically.  Once his head was clear, he was able to seek help.

In June of 2015, Eric was front and center to receive dental health care.  The relief of removing the damaged teeth slowly began to change Eric’s outlook on life.  When the first set of bad teeth were pulled, he noticed a significant change in his hearing.

“My body’s response to just removing that garbage from me, I could feel myself getting better.  Every step was rewarding.  In the end, it’s remarkable.  I could hear so much better and my thinking became clearer.”

After accessing a number of MDC services, Eric is in a much better place in life.  Currently enrolled in courses at Tacoma Community College he is determined to work again and become a
productive member of the community.


You can set the pace for the 2016 Share Breakfast and have an opportunity to meet this year’s speaker, Robert Townsend, at the
Part of the Solution Party on September 14th.

Pacesetters are donors who make a donation of $300 or more prior to the Share Breakfast. In addition to gaining an invitation to the Part of the Solution Party, Pacesetters receive special recognition for their support during the Share Breakfast program. And most importantly, Pacesetters help set an example for the rest of the community as a leading supporter of the work that MDC does to help people in need.

To become a Pacesetter, call Rob McNair-Huff at (253) 284-9096
or sign up online at
2016 MDC Share Breakfast Premier Sponsor:

Leavitt Group Northwest



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