- Published: 17 Apr 2018
"Everyone has value, recovery happens through relationships, don’t give up, you can do this. Asking for help epitomizes strength and resiliency."
Compassion is within all of us. Michael is one shining example of leading from compassion within.
Born in Holyoke and raised in East Longmeadow, Lewis is an esteemed recovery coach, recovery coach supervisor and Bureau of Substance Abuse Services facilitator who respects all pathways to recovery. Lewis recently celebrated 29 years of sobriety and is passionate about supporting people towards their own recovery and wellness. In addition, he is a proud veteran and former instructor in the United States Marine Corps, serving for 8 years.
Recognized as a community advocate, bridge builder, and leader, Lewis fosters the peer support model of recovery and serves in various roles; including Director of Housing at Providence Ministries, Veterans Advocate and a facilitator for The Nurturing Fathers men’s group. His lived experience in recovery has shaped the person he is today. He speaks openly about his childhood trauma of prejudice from both Black and White groups as well as his PTSD from active duty in the military. “After all this time missteps can still happen” he explains, “doing the next right thing in stressful situations is key to staying on track with your recovery. There are no off days on this journey. It’s critically important to find what works best for you and to have circles of support nearby.”
For Michael that circle includes his life partner, Michelle and his faith. He also continues to be inspired by his grandmother; he recalls her daily compassion in action, her tenacity to overcome barriers and blaze trails as the first African American nurse at Holyoke Hospital.
Of being Director of Housing Lewis shares, “I am blessed, honored and excited to be part of the excellent work of Providence Ministries. I believe that recovery and wellness happens in relationship and PM’s philosophy is a wonderful match.”