Herman recalls how he was struggling when he came to Tasks Unlimited over 15 years ago.
“When I came to Tasks I was struggling mentally. I was drinking and I was suicidal. Tasks helped me out a lot – got me on meds and got me stable. That was the most important thing for my mind and mental illness.”
After completing the initial training program and stabilizing his symptoms, Herman completed job training and became a janitor in Tasks’ supportive employment services, a position he still holds today. Throughout 2020 he and all of Tasks’ janitorial employees worked as essential workers to keep public buildings clean and safe during the pandemic. Herman credits his job with providing him a new sense of pride and self-sufficiency.
“After I’m done working, I feel good – like I did something.”
During his earlier years involved at Tasks, Herman lived at one of our Lodge residences. Lodge members, as well as janitorial employees, learn how to support and accept support from their peers to find success in living independently, managing their mental health symptoms, and maintaining employment—all part of the Fairweather Model approach. Herman’s time living at a lodge helped him to be able to manage living in his own apartment and, when he later moved to sober housing, equipped him to serve as a house manager. His commitment to helping those with shared experiences has also inspired him to become a recovery speaker at prisons.
Herman approached the pandemic by staying busy, which he sees as a great help in his mental health and recovery. He created a routine that included working, reading, working out, and focusing on his sobriety. Most recently, Herman has turned his energy and focus to fitness and wellness as an additional mental health support. This year, he dedicated himself to enter a body-building show. After much discipline and hard work, he took home three medals at the NPC Twin Cities Open, which took place this past July. He won 1st place in the Master’s category, 2nd place in Bantamweight Open category, and 4th place in the True Novice category.
Herman looks ahead to continuing to work at Tasks, maintaining his sobriety, and continuing on his spiritual journey. He’s set a new body-building goal—to compete in a more difficult, national body-building show next year. This October he is celebrating four years of sobriety – a huge feat of which he is deservedly proud. Summing up his involvement at Tasks, Herman says: “Worth it [in] more ways than one.”