Corey Jordan takes advantage of the computer lab at JEVS Community Integrated Recovery Center (CIRC) to work toward his recovery goals.
“I sold drugs for years. I carried firearms. I had the money I needed, but I didn’t do the things I was supposed to, like get a permit or a license to drive.” In and out of jail since 2002 as a juvenile, Corey J. lived by his own rules.
“I didn’t care for the system. I felt as though it was 100% against me, and I was going to live my life the way I wanted to. Which landed me in prison over and over again.”
But then Corey went through a spiritual change. “I suddenly had this feeling that I was living wrong, that I wasn’t living right in the sight of God.”
He left behind his old ways—along with his girlfriend and his children—to “go follow God’s voice, because he was calling me away.” Soon he was homeless.
“I had a nice job, a nice car, and I gave it all up,” Corey says. “I began to walk as a wise man.”
But Corey still had to pay for the mistakes he had made. The law caught up to him and, as he tells it, “I did 17 months in Philly county jail, then a year in Norristown,” referring to Norristown State Hospital, the long-term psychiatric facility where Corey was sent after his trial.
“The JEVS programs gave me the tools to find what I need inside of me—the tools to succeed.”
After being released from the hospital, Corey was placed in a Community Residential Rehabilitation (CRR) program, which provides transitional housing for adults in recovery from mental illness. It was there he first learned about JEVS Human Services.
“At my CRR, they keep us motivated, and they thought JEVS would be a good fit for me, so I came and interviewed with a therapist.” After that first intake appointment, Corey began regular therapy sessions at the JEVS Outpatient clinic, and also joined the JEVS CIRC program.
CIRC stands for Community Integrated Recovery Center, part of comprehensive Integrated Behavioral Health Services offered by JEVS. CIRC assists individuals with mental illness by promoting wellness, socialization, independence, community integration, education and employment, all of which help participants like Corey achieve their goals for recovery.
Corey credits CIRC with helping him start to turn his life around. “CIRC gave me a lot of tools—social skills, work ethic, coping skills, the ability to think outside the box.”
At CIRC, Corey also receives assistance with job placement, access to volunteer opportunities, and additional types of treatment, including cognitive enhancement therapy (CET)—an evidence-based practice to improve cognitive development (JEVS is the only psychiatric rehabilitation program in Philadelphia to offer CET).
As a result, Corey has gained more awareness and is making great progress, according to Tuere Rogers, Corey’s recovery educator at CIRC. “Corey really appreciates the services he is receiving and is well on his way to accomplishing his recovery goals. In fact, he is a bit of a motivational speaker to the other participants here, telling them how helpful CET is.”
Corey says his life would be totally different without JEVS. “I would be nowhere, with nothing. The JEVS programs gave me the tools to find what I need inside of me—the tools to succeed.”
Corey’s outpatient therapist LaNita Earley sees the change in Corey. “He keeps persevering, he’s driven, and he knows patience is a virtue. As long as Corey stays on the path he’s on, the world is his oyster. He truly wants his life to be better.”
Not only is Corey volunteering at various organizations, he is also working part-time, getting his driver’s license, and searching for his own apartment. He is in contact with his family and working on spending more time with his children.
“I think everyone desires the same things. I just want to be free. Living day by day, embracing my freedom, that’s a success for me. I feel blessed to be who I am.”
Corey has advice for others who would like to change their lives for the better: “Take it one day at a time. Do what you have to do, until one day you can do what you want to do. And take care of yourself.”
Wise words, from someone who knows.