Success Stories

The success of Renovation House has been—and continues to be—remarkable. In our twenty-five-year history, we have graduated over 600 men, and over 500 of them (84%) have never returned to drug or alcohol use, some for twenty years or more.

Many graduates have gone on to complete their GED or further their education. Some have even obtained masters degrees. Most have stable employment and housing, and nearly all have long-term involvement with a church that provides access to social support. And although one-third of our residents are referred to us by the state judicial system, none of our program graduates have had further involvement with the criminal courts.

While our numbers say a great deal about our success, no statistics could be as compelling as the stories of some of the men who have come through our doors and gone on to lead healthy, productive lives. Read some of our individual success stories below:

Renovation House Testimonials

Pastor Paul Sears


“I was hooked on cocaine and heroin after being placed in a juvenile detention center for two years at the age of fourteen.”

Low Point

“In 1987, I became a heroin addict for five years after serving eighteen months of a three-year jail sentence for robbery. I was homeless and lost everything I had.”

Where He Is Today

“In 1988 I entered Youth Challenge, went on to Bible college and later became the director of Youth Challenge. Today, I am the pastor of an inner city church in Perth Amboy, NJ.”

His Ambition

“I want to stay connected to Renovation House and be able to do more for those who are addicted as our church grows.”

Reverend James Grimsley


“I was addicted to marijuana and crack cocaine.”

Low Point

“Living on the streets as a homeless man for twelve years.”

Where He Is Today

“Today I am Reverend James Grimsley, an ordained minister of Renovation House. I am a house supervisor and assistant worship leader for the organization and have been in the ministry for twelve years.”

His Ambition

“Singing has been my ambition for a long time. I would love to minister in song and teach the Word of God to hurting men and women with life-controlling problems.

“As for the future, I believe that I have the necessary tools to become established in whatever capacity God wants to use me in.

“I am finding out that God is using me to speak into the lives of young men who have lost their parents or can’t get along with one or the other. I am looking forward to the future, to either remain at Renovation House or to have a ministry such as this one.”