Carole Meekins reports Video by tmj4.comvideo
MILWAUKEE- The Empowerment Clinic in Milwaukee is a place that saves lives and changes them for the better. The agency boasts one of the highest recovery rates for addicts in Milwaukee. It was founded by Executive Director Michael Braxton. He explains, "I come from a middle class family. I got addicted to drugs nine credits away from a bachelors degree at UWM. That led me down a path of destruction for a few years."
But while in prison, Braxton changed the course of his life. He recalls. "I was incarcerated, and while I was there I actually had some type of epiphany. I decided to use the strengths God has given me to help people."
So after getting out, Braxton earned his Bachelor's and Master's Degrees, and went to work helping people conquer substance abuse. Braxton explains his unique approach." I decided to use an ethnographic client-centered approach to services which is something new. Everybody's experience is different even in their own cultural backgrounds."
And there are many success stories. People like Ron Palicka. He's no longer addicted to marijuana. Palicka admits, "I overcame that affliction and have been attending college and have been trying to better myself." Another success story is Arthur Byas. He learned he does not need narcotics to get through the day. Byas notes, "Coming here helped me use the tools I was given in a positive way. It's working for me so far."
The Empowerment Clinic has a 70% success rate. The full service agency even stocks items for neighbors in need. Braxton shows off donated diapers, clothes, car seats, and other items.
But perhaps the most important gift the Empowerment Clinic offers is hope. Palicka declares, "I can face life without addiction and control my life in a more positive direction." Byas adds, "Getting clean is the main thing initially, but more importantly once you get to that point, you have to go into recovery and discovery."
And thanks to Braxton, a prisoner turned professional, people of all faiths and backgrounds are breaking the chains of addiction. And Braxton is moved by the lives his center has been able to change. He concludes, "I don't even know if there's words to explain how rewarding it is."
For more information about the Empowerment Clinic, click here.