Make a difference: Serenity Lodge

WHO: John, 51; Bill, 58; and Mike, 53

AGENCY: Serenity Lodge runs two sober houses for men, one on Long Hill Road in Groton and one on Ocean Avenue in New London. Serenity Lodge is based on the 12-step recovery process and takes in people regardless of ability to pay. It has 21 residents total.

FAMILY SITUATION: Three residents are over age 50 and have skills but cannot find jobs.

John was an electrician by trade but allowed his license to lapse. He last worked in a warehouse about three years ago and spent about a year and a half on the street before moving to Serenity Lodge in Groton.

Bill has a bachelor's degree from Trinity College and once owned his own camera store in Boston. He's been at the Groton house five years and served as assistant manager of the house thrift shop until it closed about a year ago.

Mike is a trained mechanic and used to fix heavy equipment such as snow plows. He needs to take a driver education course to get his license again but cannot afford it.

WHAT TO GIVE: Mark Weber, operations director of Serenity Recovery Living Centers Inc. said the men need jobs more than anything else. "They need someone to say, 'Yes, I'll take a chance on this guy,'" he said. They also need help with rent.

TO DONATE: Call Serenity Lodge (860) 448-9630

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