On the side of every “Matson Movers” van are the words: “Don’t forget where you came from.”
The company’s creator Nicholas Matson comes from a years-long battle with drug addiction.
“I was really just isolating by myself with no one, getting high, make it to the next day, get high and just living that vicious cycle,” he said.
A cycle that started in high school when the Naples athlete got hooked on pain killers.
“It was my junior year. I was on the basketball team and one of my best friends broke his leg. He got prescribed some pain killer. I tried two of them and as soon as I took them, all the fear and anxiety and everything I was dealing with just went away,” he said. “I started taking them every day and I found out that I need them like I’m dependent on them, otherwise I can’t function like there’s no sleeping, you have chills.”
Then he started using heroin and saw his car and his whole life spin out of control.
“I crashed my car in Alligator Alley. I was going 85 miles per hour and ran it right off into the canal. I sunk it,” Matson said. “Destroyed pretty much all my relationships. Everything just completely went downhill.”
Matson took the wheel by entering rehab at Saint Matthew’s House where he found a new purpose.
“It was towards the end of the program and I was working at the little thrift store and I was helping people when they would buy a piece of furniture. I’d go try to put it in there, help them put it in their vehicle or bring it on to them,” he said. “One day I was like, ‘Why don’t I start a moving company? That’s a great idea! Hire other drug addicts and help people from the program and at the same time I can grow a business.'”
Now, Matson Movers inspires people to believe in breaking the cycle and finding success.
“When you see them make it and they’re now a contributing member of society and they’re giving back, that’s the greatest joy is to see them becoming the man or the woman that they were created to be,” said Vann Ellison, Saint Matthew’s House president and CEO. “To see somebody like Nick, I mean, I’m more inspired by him and his story than you could ever imagine.”
“I just feel so grateful to be healthy and be a part of something and be able to give back,” Matson said.
As he celebrates more than three years of sobriety, he continues to grow the business he uses to help others. He also runs an addiction recovery YouTube channel to help others break the cycle.