Partner Spotlights


Credo Farm Alum Speaks About Turning His Life Around, Help Received Along the Way


Imagine being without a place to call home, no warm bed to lay your head at night – trying to survive however you can. Now add a substance use disorder to top it all off.

At the age of 19, Dylan was experiencing it all, staying in the hallways of apartment complexes and stealing food for his meals. Back then, he figured he would be that way until the end of his days. This unfortunate circumstance is not uncommon in our area, though it still largely goes unmentioned and, in some cases, unseen.

Nevertheless, in order to overcome this problem, we must work united to connect individuals with the help they need to start anew.

One such organization that does this daily is Credo Community Center for the Treatment of Addictions, Inc. – an agency funded in part by the United Way of Northern New York. For over 40 years, Credo has provided services and treatment to individuals whose lives have been negatively impacted by substance abuse with the philosophy that any individual needing and wanting treatment for substance abuse problems deserves to have the opportunity.

United, we can overcome even the toughest challenges. Just ask Dylan, an alum who turned his life around with the help of Credo.

Eventually presented with the opportunity to go to the Credo Farm, like anyone else in his situation, Dylan thought it would be just another rehab. What he found instead was help and support and the chance to actually turn his life around.

Knowing that there were so many people around to help him on his way, it hit him like a ton of bricks that if he were going to have the chance to do something differently, this was it. He took his chance and ran with it, noting that as he worked through the program, it wasn’t like another 12 step in a hospital setting. It was truly different to anything he had previously experienced, a program centered around building a life that drugs don’t fit into rather than taking the drugs out of your life.

“They really hit it full scale and every single part of your life that they could manage to figure out how to help you, it was done,” Dylan said. “I spent time in the halfway house, and it was the same thing. It was a prime example of how the community can help you when you’re open to it.”

A couple years later, he was getting ready to start a business when he received an email from Credo about a scholarship program for alumni for educational and business funds. Encouraged to fill out the paperwork, he found himself walking away with a check to get his business up and running.

A long way from the homeless young man he once was, Dylan is now in the third year of his home contracting business, owns some apartments that he rents out and has future plans for, and lives in a beautiful home with a large fenced in yard for his dogs.

“My life really is a prime example of exactly how it’s all supposed to play out,” Dylan said. “[…] I just want to say thanks to everybody for making that possible and changing lives because I know I’m just one story, but I could probably pull a dozen people just like myself; there’s just not enough I can say about these programs and the opportunity that it really does provide.”

Without the generosity of donors giving to the United Way, and by extension, many nonprofit organizations focused on bettering our communities, Dylan’s story could have turned out very differently. He is one of many examples of when we work united, we really can bring about positive changes within our communities.