VANCLEAVE, MS (WLOX) - News of Biloxi's mayor checking himself into an alcohol treatment facility comes one month before the Home of Grace turns 50-years-old. On Friday, WLOX News caught up with alumni at the faith based addiction recovery center.
"I just didn't like my life and I just wanted to not be coherent with it. You know? I just wanted it to be masked and numbed,” said Home of Grace alum Nikki Celoers.
Former addicts and Home of Grace leaders gather for photo at the campus. For many, they've been clean for years.
"Before I got here I had been to dozens of treatment facilities always trying to put together any type of life and today being sober 16 years is really a miracle,” said Home of Grace alum Todd Trenchard.
There former lives as addicts would have never been a memory had they not made what some say is one of the hardest decisions.
"Anybody will tell you the biggest step is admitting you have a problem, first. And then saying, I need help. I can't do this by myself,” said Home of Grace alum Nathan Chilton.
Home of Grace alums talked about overcoming their struggles with addiction and alcohol.
"You always want people to think that you're a good guy or you got everything going together because you've been living an image, a façade, if you will,” said Chilton.
As a former addict, Chilton and others at Home of Grace say they understand what Biloxi Mayor A.J. Holloway is going through after the 75-year-old checked himself into a rehab center.
"He's in the public eye. So you're going to have some people that are going to have more respect for him and then you'll have those people, who it just opens the door for all types of criticism and hate. And the fact that he did that. That's huge. I've got more respect for him then I ever have,” said Chilton.
On March 14th the Home of Grace will celebrate 50 years. To learn more about the organization click