A journey of recovery through whole-person health: Jimmy’s story

March 13th, 2022
Jimmy Brewer (right) works with Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Clinician Diana Pool at the SUD Group at Southwest Solutions' Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic

Ever since he was a teenager, drugs and alcohol controlled much of Jimmy Brewer’s life. The addiction undermined his hopes, his relationships, and his health.

Jimmy is now 63. He went through rehab many times over the years, but always relapsed soon thereafter. Until this last time.

Jimmy has been clean and sober for six months – and counting.

“I am very proud of myself and just so thankful to be still around, since a lot of times before I felt like I just wanted to die,” Jimmy said. “My mission now is to know myself better, keep my mind clear and make better decisions so I will not be tempted. I have a foundation now to get my life right.”

Jimmy at our CCBHC

Jimmy participates in the Substance Use Disorder (SUD) group at Southwest Solutions’ Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC), located in our Waterman Outpatient Clinic in southwest Detroit. The CCBHC model provides a full range of mental health, substance-use disorder and integrated health services. It combines and better coordinates behavioral and medical care, offers easy access to effective treatment, and connects clients to other services and resources to address other needs they have. Any individual in need of care who comes to the CCBHC is served, regardless of the ability to pay, including adults, children and youth, and veterans.

Jimmy is one of 600 people our CCBHC has served since it opened a year ago. Of the 600, 388 are adults. In the past year, 74% of the adults receiving our mental health services reported no alcohol or substance use at their six-month reassessment interview.

In addition to regularly attending the weekly SUD group, Jimmy receives mental health counseling, psychiatric services, and primary medical care at the CCBHC.

“It’s very helpful to have all my care in one place, and I am in better health now than I’ve been in a long time,” Jimmy said.

Jimmy’s clinician and case manager at the CCBHC is Kristina Henning. Kristina has been working with Jimmy for two years.

“Jimmy has come so far in treatment,” Kristina said. “Our team has provided holistic support, but at the end of the day, he has done the heavy lifting.”

“Kristina and I have an excellent relationship, and I am able to discuss all my problems with her,” Jimmy said. “She encourages me to make goals for myself and to stay focused on achieving them.”

Jimmy’s list of goals includes following healthy living habits, keeping his doctors’ appointments and taking his medications dutifully, going to SUD group and other addiction recovery meetings, devoting time to bible study, gaining part-time work, and spending more time with family.

“When I was doing drugs, I lost contact with family and I didn’t keep my word when I said I would do something,” Jimmy said. “But now I am sincere and always honest. I show up and show what I can do to be trustworthy. My family is proud of me for how far I’ve come. I don’t worry about the past anymore. I live for the present and look forward to the future.”

In SUD group, Jimmy speaks openly about his experiences of addiction, despair, and homelessness.

“It is important to Jimmy to share what he has been through and actively assist others with their journey to recovery,” said Katy Pelot, CCBHC Project Director. “Jimmy also just joined the Consumer Advisory Board for our counseling programs at Southwest Solutions, as he continues to advocate for other clients to ensure that all voices are heard.”

Jimmy lives at Southwest Solutions’ Galston apartment building in southwest Detroit

Jimmy’s transformative journey has been aided by stability in his housing situation. He moved into a Southwest Solutions’ apartment building last July after Kristina connected him with our affordable housing program and helped him complete the application.

“I enjoy my apartment and it’s a blessing to be here after living the street life for most of my life,” Jimmy said. “I want to lead a simple and responsible life now that treasures each day and does good.”


In February 2021, Southwest Solutions was selected as one of five community mental health agencies in Detroit awarded federal funding through the CARES Act to become Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHCs). Our funding is for about $4M over two years. We thank Senator Debbie Stabenow for her leadership in securing this funding and for her extraordinary advocacy for mental health services so that those in need can recover and lead fulfilling lives.

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