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Mike Woods, Peer Support Specialist with Partnership’s Recovery Resource Hub, is ‘all in’ when it comes to helping people find treatment services for a substance use disorder. If that means manning the grill for a “Days of Hope” outreach event, he helps out. CONTRIBUTED

In peer support, Woods talks to people ‘where they are in life’

MADISON – Madison native Mike Woods can identify with the people he helps and can talk to people ‘where they are in life.”

Woods works as Certified Peer Support Specialist with Partnership for a Drug-Free Community in its Recovery Resource Hub program.

“Living a life in active addiction, I experienced a lot of downfalls the world has to offer,” Woods said. “From living on the streets, to being consumed by a life of crime, until I decided to end it all one lonely night in a rundown motel room.”

Woods then realized life had to change. He started recovery by attending 12-step meetings. “I learned life wasn’t about taking from everyone but serving others,” he said.

Years later, he spoke at an opioid forum at James Clemens High School and was introduced to Partnership. He worked about one year with Partnership on an advisory committee for the new Recovery Resource Hub.

“It was THE job for me. I was already doing most of the job responsibilities — helping newcomers in sobriety, promoting hope through sobriety and educating people on how addicts live and how sobriety is possible,” Woods said.

When offered the job, Woods initially reacted with a moment of pride in himself. “It’s the little accomplishments in sobriety that keep building on the foundation. Knowing I went from no one wanting me around, to a company wanting me, let me see just how God has been steadily working in my life,” he said.

He will “do whatever it takes” to help those hurting, whether his testimony, one-on-one sessions, town hall meetings or fundraising.

Wendy Reeves, Partnership Executive Director, said Woods’ genuine passion to help others find a path to recovery is inspiring. “We’re so glad to have him as part of the Hub team.”

In July 2020, the Partnership started “Days of Hope” for community outreach. “We grill hotdogs and engage with people about the Hub and all the Partnership offers,” Woods said. In November 2020, they visited many people off Shelton Road in Madison.

The goal is a monthly event in different parts of Madison County. “Addiction touches so many people. During this pandemic, Partnership’s services are important more than ever,” Woods said.

In January, Woods is restarting online meetings for support groups on Thursdays at 7 p.m. Visit gotomeet.me/PartnershipDFC.

Partnership’s Recovery Resource Hub is offering a free yearly recovery resolutions planner to assist with goal setting and tracking. For a digital copy, email hub@thedrugfreepartnership.org.

At Drake State Community and Technical College, Woods studied HVAC and currently is majoring in business at Calhoun Community College.

His wife Amy works as a senior cybersecurity analyst. Their sons are five-year-old Trip and one-year-old Colton.

“I never forgot my love for Madison. When I was able, I returned home to finish out my life,” he said.

Partnership’s address is 2201 Clinton Ave. W. in Huntsville. To schedule appointments, call 256-539-7339 or 256-947-9195. For more information, email info@thedrugfreepartnership.org or visit partnershipforadrug-freecommunity.org, Facebook/thepdfc, Twitter and YouTube.

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