Matthew Botbyl met Mitch Brewer at the Teen Challenge program.
At the time, they were both drug addicts and had been convicted recently for separate burglaries.
Both men said they always believed in God, but they didn't consider themselves Christians.
Now, Botbyl, 26, and Brewer, 24, are sober. They happily refer to each other as "brothers in Christ" and close friends.
"The Teen Challenge process -- it works," said Brewer's mother. "I've seen it."
Rebecca Brewer teared up as she shared how she saw her son make his biggest progress about a quarter way through the 12- to 14-month substance abuse program. She is adamant that despite the name, the Christian-based program isn't just for teenagers; it's intended for men and women from all walks of life with substance abuse issues.
"Teen Challenge repaired this family," Brewer said.
Feature stories about how Botbyl and Brewer turned their lives around are part of a two-part series appearing in the Friday and Saturday issues of the Norwalk Reflector.