Española, N.M. (KRQE) – An Española recovery program aimed at helping those struggling with drug addictions is seeing results from its first year in service.

“For myself and for my son, that, I had to make a change and I knew the only way I was going to do that was to finally accept the help that I really needed.”

Will Padavich is one of ten people staying at the Pathways Village, formally known as Eagle Village, in the heart of Española. Now a year into his recovery, he says life has changed for the better

“A long time ago, I didn’t know how to deal with that, and, you know, I’m just thankful every day that, you know, I do have this kind of support system here,” said Padavich.

The transitional housing building used to be a run-down hotel until it was purchased three years ago. The recovery housing program started a year ago. It is the product of the Española Pathways Shelter, which helps the homeless in Rio Arriba County and rural parts of Santa Fe County. Most of those staying at the Pathway’s Village were court-ordered there.

“Most of our clients that come here, I would say, at least 90%, are on some form of probation or parole,” said Rob Vigil, a case manager with Pathway Village.

Another client staying there is Glenn Weber who was ordered to seek help with EPS.

When he arrived at the recovery housing center, he was worried because past programs didn’t work for him, but seven months later, things are far better than they have ever been.

“It was such a relief to come here and not be forced into stuff, and I know I can sit down with Rob, and we can bounce ideas back and forth, and we can talk about stuff,” said Weber.

The clients relate to staff because they too are recovering addicts, and clients who stay there, keep each other accountable, making sure everyone goes to meetings and most importantly – stays clean.

The program also helps them get back on their feet, get important paperwork, buy a car, and get jobs that will last. Weber is now with Coca-Cola and Padavich is a manager at big 5.

In the year the program has been around, five people have successfully transitioned out, now clean and employed. The program provides a new life for those who are working for it.

“You know, I had to stop and think and you know, I was just surviving, and now, I finally think I have that chance to finally live,” Padavich said.

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The program ‘Española Pathways Shelter’ has been around for almost four years now. They also operate an overnight shelter in the city.