More kind words from our participants and community partners forthcoming…
09/23/2023 letter from a participant in our ITN BHRN House and Program
The ITN BHRN program is such a blessing. A hand up, not a handout.
To Whom It May concern,
My name is ___, and I am an addict. For as long as I can remember I have never had or experienced the sense of safety community or a place to call home. My past is very broken and dark. I have experienced …abuse and homelessness from a young age and always felt the need to block it out and numb my pain with the use of drugs. When I moved into the ITN BHRN house I was afraid and didn’t truly know what to expect.
Christine and Adam (the ITN BHRN House Manager and her husband) welcomed me with Bright smiles and loving hearts.
It took no time at all for me to feel wanted accepted and loved. The sense of community at the Iron Tribe Network is amazing and the patience and care that is shown by the people at the ITN BHRN House is unbelievable.
I learned how to budget my money, pay bills, schedule and keep appointments, and so much more. Christine helped me learn new coping skills to deal with everyday triggers and how to be a productive member of my community. I was able to obtain my CRM and my PSS certifications and I am now on the Traditional Healthcare Workers (THW) Registry in the State of Oregon. I am currently a full-time employee for Church at the Park and I get to help people through struggles that I have lived experience with.
None of this would have been possible for me if I hadn’t learned the things that I learned while living at the ITN BHRN House. The ITN BHRN program is such a blessing. A hand up, not a handout.
11/29/2021 from Amanda
I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you, and everyone else at Iron Tribe. I really don’t know where I would be without all your help and support. Today, I’ve been clean for almost 13 months, and a big part of why I have been able to make it this far, is because of Iron Tribe Network. I had been homeless for 5 years, strung out…and I just couldn’t see a way out of that lifestyle. I ended up getting very sick and needing to stay in the hospital for a little over a month, which ended up being the catalyst for my life to begin to change. The doctors told me I would be dead within months if I kept using, and that it was a miracle that I was even still alive for them to treat me. When it came time for me to leave, they told me I had a choice, the hospital would either put me in a motel room for a week, or a recovery house for a month. I had no idea what to expect and I was kind of afraid of the unknown but I still chose the recovery house and it was the best decision I could have made. When I got to the house I had nothing but the clothes on my back, but I found so much support from my housemates and from the office as well. It was unbelievable to be honest, I couldn’t believe that these people that didn’t even know me would help me. I lived at the Cedars for a year, and Iron Tribe stuck with me through thick and thin, and even though I’ve moved I still find myself calling everyone there to check in because I found my family there and I just can’t imagine losing that now. I learned so much living at the Cedars, and I am so grateful, Iron Tribe saved my life!
Thanks again for everything!
03/27/2016 from Doyal Smith, Executive Director of Dual Diagnosis Anonymous of Oregon:
It doesn’t get better than this! My family and I were honored to attend this year’s Iron Tribe Easter Egg Hunt & Picnic observing not only a community based family event but witnessing the miracles of recovery and solidarity…Shawn Chieftain Bower leading Iron Tribe has been able to do the impossible by rising up out of adversity and standing strong with his brothers and sisters. The solidarity, love, and perseverance witnessed today is a testimony to what can happen with peer support. Words can’t describe the value and importance of Iron Tribe and the significance that this Organizations impact has on family and community. Loud and proud to be able to be part of such beautiful hearts and souls…Shawn received a plaque from his peers of Iron Tribe for not only honoring him for his leadership contributions but most importantly for his values and being at services to others. Much love to all of those who are making this difference! LPB
Winter Early 2019 from ITN staff:
Whew! Another long/good day! Remodeling [a] property which we’ve been in for 7 years. I helped open it for Iron Tribe Network. It’s still going strong as are many of our original houses, even before my time. We now have 17 houses in 5 counties and I was just informed we will probably be opening up another. What an honor to work with people who take an aggressive approach to providing safe housing for our populations served. I’ve worked for several treatment providers as a drug and alcohol counselor…I now am surrounded by co-workers who honor truth, commitment and integrity. How did I get from where I was 20 years ago, to where I am today? Spiritual intervention.
Spring 2017 from Iron Tribe Youth Network participants:
Iron Tribe Youth Network is an opportunity for me to spend time healing with people who are experiencing the same things as I am. We share a common goal and a similar understanding and to me that is very powerful.
For me Iron Tribe Youth Network is a chance for me to share my addiction with people that have gone through the same situations as me and get to be with people who have a common interest which is being sober, having people my age and sober is amazing, knowing that I have people who care for me is the best feeling ever. We are powerful.
Iron Tribe Youth Network is what motivates me to stay in recovery. Iron Tribe is where I know no matter how I feel, nobody will judge me and everyone will do everything they can to make sure I feel loved and safe. Iron Tribe reminds me to be a part of something bigger than myself through NA, through service work, or just helping making the world a better place. I know everyone in Iron Tribe is welcoming with open arms & I appreciate that.
Iron Tribe Youth Network to me is a place kids can gather and feel safe and accepted no matter who they are, age, sex, religion, etc. a place where kids can have fun and learn new things.
I think this meeting really helps me understand how to feel and control how I am feeling. I love coming here because I love hearing the stories and how I can get input on what I should do.
Iron Tribe Youth Network – I don’t know how to explain it but to say it is my home. Everytime I walk into these doors this feeling washes over me – a feeling of relief. Relief of all of my troubles, relief of drama, and relief from the “outside” world. Everytime I walk into these doors, I get a warm, loving, and happy feeling. So, Iron Tribe Youth? It’s a home.
I love Iron Tribe Youth because it is a great place for young kids that face addiction issues,
pressures and barriers and any other issues that they need to talk about. It helps me everyday in my recovery. I know kids in there and they get a lot of support through other youth. I feel like without Iron Tribe Youth my recovery would be a lot harder and it is easier to connect with young kids going through the same situation as me. I feel like the more activities we do gives us time to free up from the pressures and barriers we must conquer everyday. Iron Tribe Youth is a safe Circle for me to go and express my feelings. Support from our community and funders helps this program continue, helping us in our recovery.
July 2016 from Daniel T.
Good morning to all of my family. I have missed you all so much. I’m doing great…working on call. The Iron Tribe house is doing great. I couldn’t ask for better house mates.
July 2016 from Ellen
Had an amazing weekend at Beverly Beach. I want to thank Daniel for offering Raquel, myself and our boys a spot in your camp and lending us is a tent to sleep in. Thank you Iron Tribe for yet another amazing weekend. Thank you for introducing us to Myron, and making it possible to get to meet this amazing group of people strong in recovery. It has been exactly what I needed in my life 🙂
November 1, 2016 from Richard J.
[Reflecting on his 7th Direction certificate from Iron Tribe]
This was the first time in quite a while I saw something through to the end and also the first of many goals I smashed out. I’m so grateful that there was a group of people like Iron Tribe who had been where I have and were willing and able to help me out. 3 years later and I’m even further along then I thought was possible. None of this I could have done alone.
On August 29th, 2016, members of Iron Tribe Network traveled to Pendleton, Oregon and participated in a special Car & Bike Show in-reach event at the Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution (EOCI).
This is my second year being a part of this type of reach in, and my first year helping coordinate people to attend. My passion comes from being a formerly incarcerated person, that today lives a life of recovery from drugs, alcohol, crime, and incarceration. I was able to spend my 7 year to the day anniversary of being released from prison, back in prison on my own free will. Getting to ride my motorcycle into a facility that I also have been at, and was released from 18 years ago for a car and bike show. At this car and bike show I was able to have friends from multiple recovery organizations attend with me, but with a personal blessing of having my wife, my mom, my dad and Iron Tribe Network members come and show support for that passion. To show the guys that they can get out and make a new life for themselves and that they can Recover as a human being from pressures and barriers. -Shawn B.
Very grateful to have been given the opportunity to go into EOCI. Bringing freedom to the inside for a day was the most humbling event I have ever experienced. The Adults in custody were grateful as well and happy to take some pictures to send home to their loved ones. The stories that were shared on the yard were priceless. Thank you to the staff for the warm welcome and Thank You to the adults in custody for voting my Jeep first place; and making the beautiful plaque I received. I hope to be a part of this event for years to come! Special Thank you to Iron Tribe Network for coordinating and making this event possible. -Reina B.
It was one of the most humbling experiences I’ve ever had, to walk a yard that I use to walk. To hear some of their stories and be blessed to give my story and give someone hope of a better way of life. It was a very moving experience I can never explain the gratitude that I have for my life today. I’m super thankful to have been a part of it… -Cliff R.
At 58 years I believe I have seen and done many life changing things. As the first wave of inmates wandered into the yard, I was truly blown away at the numbers I heard. 9, 12, 18, 25, Life. These were years served and years to go for release As I listened, I became emotional a few times at the optimism these men have looking towards the future. They shook our hand and said God Bless. Our day spent with you guys was truly life changing for the both of us. Thank you for the invitation. -Dennis B.
Going to EOCI for the car and bike show was a great way to bring the message of recovery to the Adults in custody. They were very receptive to our stories of success in recovery. I feel honored to have been apart of something this gratifying. I want to thank the facility and the Adults in custody for their hospitality and the great lunch. I was very proud to have taken 3rd place best Bike in the show. I hope to be a part of this next year. -Bobby W.
2015 from a Pro-Social Community Event Participant
Iron Tribe’s clean and sober bowling event was a great example of how one person, one organization, one community, can make a difference in so many others lives. It was awesome to watch the joy in so many people and their families coming together and having fun last night.
These types of events are not only filled with clean and sober fun activities but they also create the opportunity for creating the support necessary to develop hope in recovery. Mad love to Shawn Chieftain Bower of Iron Tribe and all who contributed last night to what I see as lifesaving events.
It is important to note that these much needed events help turn the disease of addictions sorrow, loneliness, despair, and insanity of past lives into magical and priceless moments of beautiful smiles, the sound of laughter, and families getting their lives back.
Helping support these kind events as well as recognizing the need for Organizations such as Iron Tribe is a huge part of the answer to effectively providing recovery environments for those who so desperately need it. Please visit Iron Tribe’s website to learn more.
This was not just a bowling event; this was true miracles in action.
Thank you Iron Tribe for all that you do!
2015 from ITN Community Member
Our community is getting so strong, bigger and bigger each week!
2015 ITN Staff
I truly believe when we place people with staff with lived experience who have dealt with many of the same or similar issues, we have far better outcomes.
2015 ITN Staff
I have helped so many families get safe housing. I’ll never forget when I went to pick up a husband, wife, and their toddlers from a tent in a field. It was over 100 degrees Fahrenheit that day. We were able to give them housing and connect them with enough resources to get on their feet. They have since been able to secure an apartment, move out from ITN housing and move into their new place.