John is a big man with a big smile and a bigger heart. He’ll tell you he’s a changed man, and he’s referring to years of stops and starts, failures and victories.
John says he was once a very angry young man, full of bitterness at his own shortcomings. He admits to a youth full of wrong turns and bad judgment. Drugs and alcohol helped him mask feelings of inadequacy for a long time. By age 33, he was alone and living in his car. Though he tried to stop drinking, he discovered that sobriety alone wasn’t the answer. John knew that to rebuild his life, he needed support to learn basic life skills.
John found just that at Union Station, where he worked with a case manager to end his cycle of homelessness and build a life of dignity and sobriety. From there he discovered Union Station provided affordable, permanent housing to hundreds of people. But affordable housing is only the first step, albeit a crucial one, to a complete life.
“The difference is like night and day since Union Station’s case managers got here,” says John. “Before, this was a place to live,” says John. “Now it’s cheerful and friendly. When I leave work, I don’t just come to a room – I come home.”
Shawn has spent the past 10 years working on the front lines of the homeless services industry. What most don’t know is that, using since age 12, Shawn was homeless, broke and in withdrawal from heroin before finding sobriety and purpose.
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