Walk a Mile in His Shoes: John’s Story

10/22/2018 by Rebecca Toews

Like most of us, John Knowland’s life has been a series of steps toward where he is today.

John helped conceive and build more than a dozen omni theaters across the United States. By all accounts, he was successful, But he says, when you get to a certain level, the job becomes something entirely different.

In retrospect, he sees now that it was the stress of doing the job that was getting to him… but at the time, a doctor suggested he had ADHD… As a substitute to the Adderall, John found Cocaine. But it wasn’t long after that- that he was arrested.– “cratering” his career as an architect.

John and his wife soon split up. That step led to years of sleeping on friends’ couches before he finally found himself without a home entirely. He made his way to St. Stephen’s Human Services, and the Salvation Army. After 525 days there, he stepped through the doors of Ebeneezer Towers in Downtown Minneapolis. He moved in to his apartment on the 19th floor, with just a blow-up mattress and the box it came in.

Soon John was referred to Bridging and he began taking those steps back to his “new normal” — a new life. He began reconcile with his ex-wife. He began to rebuild his relationship with his daughter.

“If I didn’t have that, they would have never come over, and they would’ve never stayed the evening, and had dinner with me, and things like that. So, it was a place that I could be a host in, and I could be normal in, and I could show them that I could be a normal person.”

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