Recovering addicts learn personal finance at St. Matthew’s House


NAPLES, Fla. — Finances pose a challenge for just about everybody, but for recovering addicts, money problems make a long climb even steeper.

St. Matthew’s House is partnering with personal finance expert Dave Ramsey to help Southwest Florida residents who’ve dealt with substance abuse get out of debt and get a better handle on their money.

Some clients of the faith-based organization are taking a course through Ramsey’s Financial Peace University that lays out a path to financial independence. Justin’s Place, the substance abuse arm of St. Matthew’s, is making the program available for free through a self-funded scholarship.

The idea is to turn money from a source of temptation into a tool of empowerment.

“Many people will panic when they get a check and they establish cravings that they haven’t had before,” said St. Matthew’s House president and CEO Vann Ellison.

Chad Couture, one of those who’ve taken the course, hailed the program as life-changing.

“I was homeless, I was drug addicted, I was broken. I was at my bottom, for sure,” Couture said. “It wasn’t until I went through this financial peace class that I was able to experience financial freedom.”

The idea is part of a holistic approach to recovery, Ellison said.

“A lot of times, a rehab program just focuses on the addiction,” Ellison said. “We’re looking at what does it take to really equip this person to have a better life.”




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