Success Story: Michael Dunn

By the time he was 12, Michael Dunn was on the streets, selling drugs and breaking into houses. He had no home life and no parental direction or protection. His mother worked long hours and his father never came around. Now 25 years old, Michael has been in and out of prison, the victim of a shooting and on probation for drug possession. But he is turning his life around. He is off drugs, has a steady job he likes, has forgiven his father and developed a bond with him, and is determined to stay strong.

Dunn is completing his second time in the drug abuse treatment program at Dismas House of Kansas City. He took a drug test while on probation, failed it and had to start over again. His probation officer gave him another chance and he went back to Dismas. “I want to thank Dismas and the whole crew there, especially Rev. Ladell Flowers (executive director) and Tom Saunders (counselor) for helping me,” said Michael. “And my probation officer, Joy London, has been on my back to get my life together. She has really helped me. She took her time with me and understood me.”

“Once I kicked my drug habit, everything changed for me,” he said. “Everything is happening for the better for me. People want to be around me and I can talk to people. I talk to them about staying away from drugs and changing their lives. Drugs are out there, everywhere, and such a temptation. Sometimes I look at my old wounds from being shot and realize what a rough life I had,” Dunn said. “I want to thank God for helping me be strong… It’s been a real struggle but the best thing I’ve ever done was turn my life around.”

Michael will be graduating from the Dismas outpatient program soon, but he says he’ll be dropping back in and staying in touch. “I’d like to talk to the new people coming in and I’d like to go into group homes and juvenile centers to talk to young people to keep them from making wrong decisions. That’s what the world needs: People who can help others. I’m proud of myself and thankful the way things have worked out. I really wanted to change and did it for myself. I’m at peace with myself.”