Fort Lyon Profiles - WLTY
WL & TY
WL and TY enjoy a moment of calm outside the sweat lodge on the edge of the Fort Lyon campus. They appreciate the sense of solitude that Fort Lyon offers, away from what TY calls the static of the city, all the hardship, all the troubles.
WL says that his goal in coming to Fort Lyon was to stop his own insanity, from years of drinking and chronic homelessness. He had been living on the streets for four years in Denver’s Capitol Hill, and he had tried many times to get clean through different programs offered throughout the metro area, but he kept finding himself back in the same place. “It’s just a stone’s throw away: the alcohol, the drugs, the this, the that.”
In Fort Lyon, on the other hand, he has a place to focus on his sobriety away from negative outside influences. Building stability in his sobriety here, he says, will make it possible for him to go back and face the temptations of the city. “One of the fundamentals of recovery is a strong spiritual base,” he says. Fort Lyon provides opportunities for residents to join programs such as AA and NA, and the Wellbriety White Bison Program. “It’s crucial for the Native American population to hold onto their individuality.”
What appealed to WL about Fort Lyon was that it was completely voluntary. “It’s not a forceful program,” he says. “It’s up to the individual how they want to comply with the program.” And those individuals have to make a conscious choice to make the trip.
“There’s not just an easy way,” TY says. “Not to focus on the negativity that’s always around them, but to always create a positive image about themselves. Believing, having faith in that positive image, and what you want your life to be like. When you believe in it, it eventually becomes reality.”