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Our Mission


Project J.O.S.H. (Journeying Onward Substance-Abuse Help) was founded on a set of guiding principles: to educate, serve, and provide resources to teens and families affected by addiction.  In order to accomplish this goal, we require the help of building a community base that shares our vision, and for this reason, we look forward to your participation on this site and with our organization.

Our History

Although the idea of forming an organization to achieve Josh’s life long goals was talked about in an informal capacity after Josh’s passing, it wasn’t until Elaine and Zach sat down at a local restaurant that the name and vision for the organization began to take shape. We already knew we wanted the organization to mirror Josh’s life long dream of becoming an adolescent psychiatrist, with emphasis placed on his latter dream of working with addicted teens specifically. Given these goals, we established both the name and a concise mission statement. The chief tenants of Project J.O.S.H. (Journeying Onward Substance Abuse-Help) are to serve, educate, and provide resources to afflicted individuals and their families. 

Josh’s battle, like so many other began with an inner-battle of psychological affliction, eventually manifest into his teenage years into drug use, abuse, and later both physical and psychological dependence. More poignantly, during Josh’s battle with heroin he developed the belief and realization he was destined to die at the age of 27 and join the 27 club, like so many other talented brilliant people before him. He believed he was “to be sacrificed, so others could live.” Furthermore, he believed the reason why he experienced addiction and life-long emotional pangs was so that he could “understand and help others.”

Thus, Project J.O.S.H. carries on Josh’s life-long dreams, the kind of soul-work Josh himself, felt he was destined to do and would be doing if he was still on this planet. But Josh reminded us when he was alive, being a life-long philosopher and philanthropist that “the body is but a shell for the soul.” Josh therefore oversees our work, looking down from heaven, his presence ever so near.

A Milestone

After the tragic death of Kelin Jacobsen, a beloved young man whose charm and infectious spirit touched so many lives, our program services began to receive more financial and emotional backing. Elaine when working at a treatment center had the privilege of working with and getting to know Kelin. What she realized is that Kelin suffered from many of the same inner-demons and sensitive issues regarding their sobriety:
  • “I don’t know what to do after becoming sober.”
  • “It is difficult to have fun without using.”

  • From this experience to the present, it became apparent for our organizational Founder and Director that there was an apparent need for “reintegration services.” To teach these kids about how to live again and plugging back in purpose and meaning into their life, something that these drugs erase and replace with short-lived and glamorous fun. For so many of these individuals, it was never their intention to let their use turn into addiction, but they found themselves trapped, incapable of helping themselves, or even imagining the slightest glimmer of hope remained for them. 

    About Josh Werner-Hudson

    Joshua Joel Werner (legal birth name) was born in Boulder Colorado on September 26th, 1979. Given Josh’s natural sensitivity, from a young age Josh was afflicted with issues of being unable to comfort himself. He had expressed fear from a young age about losing his Mother, Elaine Werner-Hudson, whom he clearly adored and couldn’t imagine living without. These desperate feelings were only exacerbated by the fact that his father suffered from severe alcoholism and when intoxicated became very angry and violent. Thus, both Josh and his Mother were subjected to both physical and psychological trauma. Unfortunately, this left Josh with a great sense of unease and confusion for a good majority of his life. Josh continually struggled with coping with the hardships life had thrown at him and these issues manifest in academic troubles, delinquency, and drug use as the only source of outlet. Additionally, bullying only encouraged him to seek more and more forms of escape by using drugs. 

    Ironically, however, through all of these crazy years Josh was very resourceful. At the age of 14 Josh started his own computer repair business on the Internet in 1994. In 1996 he worked for J-Rat (rock-climbing harness business), with the owner offering him the opportunity to buy out his business given his entrepreneurship. In 1997, he began work at PC Brokers in Boulder Colorado, referred to as their only Mac specialist.  

     In 1998, Josh began work at Advanced Electronics and Boulder Mac Repair and two years later bought the business and took it over. Given their less than stellar track record and having to rectify issues with former customers under the previous ownership, he let the company go and went anew creating his own computer business with a good friend. With $5000 dollars to start, the business was setup on the south side of Fort Collins. Apple Service Center LLC had open for business. The business was a huge success for several years actually turning a sizable profit. However, after two years of commuting back and forth daily from Gunbarrel (a subdivision of Boulder) in tandem with lack of communication with his partner, he dropped the business and moved on. From that point forward he worked as an onsite and pickup computer specialist and salesman, continuing as an Apple Authorized Service Center and Apple Authorized Reseller. During the in-between years, he was an assistant manager at Godiva Chocolatier at Flatirons Crossing Mall, Assistant Store Manager at KB Toys at Twin Peaks Mall, spent a couple years delivering the Daily Camera, and worked at Bombay as a stock room manager. He always prided himself on his work.Since Josh took great pride in his work and was more concerned with being a human being rather than always looking out for his own needs, he was well known and reputable technician known throughout Boulder.  He had a very outgoing personality and could be easily identified driving his 1991 red Mazda MX-5 Miata across town, with the top down, even amid the winter months.   Not to mention the sizable car collection, at one point owning 8 cars simultaneously, yet only having a pocket full of change at any given moment. Josh was extremely resourceful and although having a bit of an issue with hoarding, never really cared much for material possessions  – except for special gifts given to him by friends and family.  

    Josh had many friends, and many people knew him. To begin, him and his friends could just have good clean fun, but eventually boredom, or other factors got each of them into using drugs in place of fun. This was especially the case for Josh between the hardships between the trio of friends and unhealthy codependent relationships spiraled him down into the lowest of lows of depression.  

    He realized one night, however, that by taking one pain pill, all his anxiety and worries about life just melted away. Driving around in July, playing “True Faith ‘94” by New Order and watching the fireworks in July of 2003. Years later: use turned into abuse, which later turned to dependence.  

    Then his world collapsed...

    Some of Josh's Notes / Diary Entries

    In the spirit of how Josh wished to dedicate his life, Project J.O.S.H. is a continuance of the legacy he left. We continue to carry the toarch.

    Major Timeline of Events

    '07 … March      … 7th    … Josh ODs in bathroom and nearly dies
    '07 … March      … 11th  … Josh ODs and subsequently dies from a heroin overdose at home around 9:10PM
    '09 … August     … 17th … Elaine moves to Laguna Beach, CA to pursue an education and career in substance-abuse treatment
    '09 … October   … ???  … Coined Project J.O.S.H. (Journeying Onward Substance-Abuse Help); formalized plans talked about since 2008
    '10 … October   … 2nd  … Site Launches
    '11 … February … 24th … First Imagine Podcast Airing @ Adrenaline Radio (studios in Whitier California)
    '11 … August     … 9th   … Met with George Powell III at Reuse Jeans, he offers to design and sell a jean inspired by Josh's home-made ones, with proceeds going directly to Project Josh

    Article Last Updated: 05-28-2012

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