- On May 31, 2017
- addiction, alcoholism, DWI, emergency shelter, encouragement, homeless, hope, independence, ithaca, ithaca rescue mission, jobs, life changing, recovery, sobriety, supportive housing
Alcohol pretty much ruled Gary’s life for more than 30 years. He started drinking at age 18 and eventually lost everything to alcohol: his 20-year marriage, his family, his home and his job.
After numerous unsuccessful attempts to get sober, he landed in jail for a time after a DWI conviction. Gary said, “I actually thought I was doing okay. I now realize drinking kept me from living a normal life and took everything away from me.”
He eventually ended up homeless and living on the streets for a short while, but the cold winter forced him to seek shelter at the Rescue Mission’s Emergency Shelter. And that’s when things began to turn around for Gary. After spending some time in the shelter, he was able to move into the Rescue Mission’s permanent supportive housing, while getting the counseling and coping skills he needed to remain sober.
Gary’s daughter never gave up on him through his entire battle with alcohol. After coming to the Mission, he made a promise to her to quit drinking.
The support and encouragement that he has been receiving through the Rescue Mission’s programs, along with the close guidance of his case manager, have helped him keep his promise.
Gary is now working a full-time job in a food services position at a local college. He said, “I’m on the right track now. For the first time in many years I feel a real sense of purpose and independence.”
Now that he is employed, Gary is looking forward to getting his own apartment.
He has also improved his relationship with his daughter and his new infant granddaughter, whom he now visits every weekend.
He said, “Not too many people get a second chance like I did. Now, for the sake of my daughter and my granddaughter, I’ll remain on the right path.”