by Christopher Six, Media Marketing Assistant
When Timothy Day was released from federal incarceration for good behavior 61 months into a 77-month sentence for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, he knew a return to Atlanta would not be in his best interest. So after six months of home confinement, he set the process in motion to return to the place where it all started 30-plus years ago — Cumberland, Maryland.
“I didn’t want to go back to Atlanta because the reputation I had for the stuff that I did was never going to leave me alone. I wanted to come back to a place where I knew that I could function on the money resources that I had available to me without any strain on me. So, I came to Cumberland, Maryland,” he said.
Timothy had left Cumberland in the mid-1970s. His journey to come full circle was one of many miles and trials.
“I’m not going to lie to you; it had to do with drugs and drug use,” Timothy says when discussing the reputation he wanted to escape.
“It was a lifestyle. It wasn’t so much the drugs; it was all the bells and whistles that came with it,” he added. “I had been on drugs since I was a young boy. It started when I was six years old smoking weed, and when I hit 28, it just took a whole different turn.”
That was after several stops and starts, including attending a trade school for automotive before dropping out in the last semester. He had found himself in Atlanta, trying to support a young family.
“It started where I was self-employed, and cocaine and methamphetamines were helping me accomplish that work I needed to take care of my house and my family, but after two years of constantly working 16 hours a day, seven days a week, I had two nervous breakdowns,” he explains. “I’d go back and start building my life back again, and before long, I’d be right back on drugs because of the pressure and the stress.”
As time passed, he bounced between North Carolina and Georgia. Then came the federal charges. Upon his release, he knew he had to make a change.
“I needed some kind of foundation, so I got on the computer and pulled up the Maryland reentry guide, and they gave me information on Goodwill and a few other places, and I chose to contact Goodwill,” he added. “After I contacted Goodwill … every barricade I hit, or thing I had to maneuver around, Horizon Goodwill was there to help me and make sure that I was staying focused on what I was trying to accomplish and give me the resources to reach out to, like DORS (Division of Rehabilitation Services).”
Timothy began services with HGI in December of 2021, enrolling in both employment services and housing navigation programs. Working with Housing Navigator Andi Welch, in June of this year he secured income-based housing, left the Union Rescue Mission, and is now living in his own apartment in Cumberland.
“So, I landed right back in the same spot as I stood 35 years ago, but everything is due to a purpose. I just keep myself going knowing that this is something that I’m doing now that I’ve been trying to do for the past 20 years, but every time I tried to get my certification or go to school to become what I’m becoming, I got involved with drugs,” he said. “Anytime a situation came up with judgment involved, I’d resort back to you to drugs, but this time it’s different because I like the path that I’m on, and I’m enjoying every step that I’ve taken.”
Timothy also entered into the Temp Labor/Paid Training Program in June and began working at the Warehouse in Cumberland, where he quickly excelled in the position.
“They helped me establish my housing, they helped me establish work — I worked for Horizon in a temporary position. It felt good because it was the first time I worked in a long time, and I made sure I was a very dedicated worker,” he said. “So, it’s been very beneficial for me because it opened a lot of doors and stood beside me with my guidance and sometimes listened to me moan and groan about things, but they wanted to hear it. They were very interested in what I had to say. They’ve always been there for me, even still today. I can contact them if I’m dealing with something, and they’ll come to talk to me and help me get through it or maybe even come up with resources that are available in my community to help me maneuver through.”
Warehouse Manager Melissa Harris praised that dedication, highlighting that he picked up very quickly on all his assigned work duties and was able to work independently and at a very fast pace. She particularly noted his dependability and work ethic.
Timothy has also been successful in his recovery program with the Allegany County Health Department and has a passion for helping others. He enrolled in the Human Services Program at Allegany College of Maryland and left his paid training position at the warehouse in August to participate in the program full-time for the fall semester. He is also now an employee at the college.
Timothy says he has no real regrets about the journey that brought him here because it made him who he is today and gave him the knowledge and experience to help others, which is his goal after completing his studies.
“No matter where you started, you end up in the same place that I ended up in, and if I can help people from getting to there by what I can say about it…” he said. “I don’t want somebody to be 55 years old and go through all the stuff that I went through. If I get someone in their 20s and get them to understand that they don’t have to waste away parts of their life, thinking that it’s okay, and they got control of it… because sooner or later, you don’t have control over it because it takes control you. ”
Timothy wishes he could have taken this initiative 30 years ago but says he feels blessed to be alive to do the things he is doing now. A father of four with three grandchildren, he is even more thankful they get to see him setting out on this new part of his life’s journey and to have their support along the way.
“I haven’t been a man on a mission for a long time… you can’t stop a man on a mission. I’m definitely going to succeed because I’m not accepting failure, “ he said. “The journey that I’m supposed to be on… the destination has not been met. And I do believe that the journey that I’m on now is the journey that I’m supposed to have been on in the eyes of the Lord. So, therefore, here I go.”