When a peer at Perry Wellness Center makes great progress in his or her behavioral health recovery, it is the result of many factors These may include appropriate medical treatment, support of family and peers, and personal commitment to recovery. In many cases, it also may involve others in the community, including supportive employers.
Which leads us to the story of Roderick Arnett and Frank Joiner:
In 2011, Roderick Arnett enrolled as a peer at Perry Wellness Center. As his journey of recovery continued, he became a peer leader in Rudy’s Happy Patch Market. There, he undertook improvements in customer service and gradually assumed additional responsibilities.
Roderick’s dedication and capability were noted by Perry Wellness Center founder and CEO Stuart Perry, who encouraged him to seek out other sites that could use his talents. At the same time, Farmer’s Feed and Seed, in downtown Americus, was increasing its partnership with Perry Wellness Center. Frank Joiner operated the business, established in 1954, and was interested in the possibility of hiring a responsible peer from the center to work at his thriving store.
Roderick Arnett interviewed for the position at Farmer’s Feed and Seed and was offered the position. This association represented an act of faith for both Roderick and Frank Joiner, and it has proven to be worthwhile for both.
For Roderick, his employment has represented a chance for a more “normal” life, as well as a monthly paycheck. While he had received a disability check for some time, Roderick was willing to give up his check and earn his money through his own hard work. He also earned his high school diploma and has also received certification in Moral Recovery Therapy. He now serves in Phase 4 participation in Drug Court, has been a speaker at a Cordele DUI School and a local church, and has been invited to sponsor several individuals with drug addiction and mental health disorders. His latest accomplishment: purchasing his first car.
As for Frank Joiner, he has benefitted from having a faithful employee. He reports that Roderick is currently being trained as a sales clerk for the popular business, where he will put his customer service skills even more to work.
“I am very pleased with the life progress of Roderick Arnett,” Stuart Perry says. “His association and learning with Frank Joiner and Farmer’s Feed and Seed has been positive both for local business involvement and for Roderick. I encourage readers to visit Farmer’s Feed and Seed and speak to Roderick.”
Perry Wellness Center commends local businesses that provide employment opportunities for individuals with histories of mental illness or substance abuse. By takinga chance, they are givinga chance to deserving people such as Roderick Arnett. And congratulations are offered to peers like Roderick, who not only worked his way back into his community, but serves as a role model to others who are struggling today.
In the photo above, Frank Joiner chats with Roderick Arnett at Farmer’s Feed and Seed, located at 206 N. Hampton Street, Americus.