Palouse Local Using His Story To Help Others
Tyson West's Story
SPOKANE – Coming back from addiction is hard, however, using the sufferings of a life story to inspire others takes a special type of person.
Tyson West has changed his life drastically. From living on the streets of Spokane and fighting his addiction, to being the Executive Director at the Spokane campus of Adult and Teen Challenge. West is now dedicating his life to using his story to save others' lives.
West went down the dark road of drug and alcohol abuse for about 20 years. Growing up in Palouse and working at his family’s grocery store; West had constant access to a beer cooler initially sparking his substance use.
Eventually, West went to college and tried having relationships, he was always just left with the feeling these things were getting in the way of his addiction. However, after a few criminal charges, he decided enough was enough.
“I was picked up on my second felony charge, at 34, exhausted and lonely,” said West. “In jail, I found a bible and decided to find God”.
When West was younger, he rejected Christianity. He mentioned there would be individuals on the streets of Spokane wanting to give him food and supplies in the name of the lord. West would just laugh, take whatever they were offering and go on with his day. It was not until he was behind bars again that he made the choice to give his life to Jesus.
“We had bible studies in jail that I found myself weeping after,” said West. “Finally, I had experienced the goodness I was searching for. I felt more free locked up than I did doing all that garbage on the streets”.
After 34 days in jail, West was released and instantly slipped back into his old habits. Beer in one hand, cigarette in another he thought to himself he needed a program with some structure to get back on track. Adult and Teen Challenge was the 14th one and worked like a charm.
The year-long program offered by the organization has a comprehensive approach to recovery. Participants learn who they are in themselves, and with God. They work on giving back to the community by doing various service projects. They also build their occupation skills so they are prepared for the transition out of the program.
Now, as the executive director, West has big plans for his branch of the organization. They want to hire a state-certified clinician to open the doors to help those not only wanting to enroll but those that are court-ordered.
“With 32 acres we have the ability to grow,” said West. “My goal is to put hope at the reach of every addict”.
West’s little sister Dani Seideman has looked up to him even at his worst, however, she feels overwhelming relief at the new man he has become.
“He has always been my hero,” said Seideman. “Now it is just amazing to see him use his story to change the lives of everyone else struggling”.
If you or someone you know needs help,
Call (877) 302 - 7149 or visit https://teenchallengepnw.com/locations/spokane-campus/