‘Exactly What I Needed’

‘Exactly What I Needed’

Tom researched everything carefully, determined to select the right place to rebuild his life without alcohol.

After considering his options, he chose the Binghamton Rescue Mission.

Before coming to the Rescue Mission, Tom faced ups and downs in his life. After high school, he moved to Colorado to be near his father. He met a woman, got married, and became a stepdad to her two children. He ran a successful remodeling and construction business.

"It just seemed like my whole universe was crashing."


But about six years ago, Tom learned he had a terminal illness that had gone unknown and untreated. His health challenges took a toll on his marriage, which ended in divorce. Then, in 2017, Tom’s father died and Tom’s stress increased, as he had to handle the estate. Tom moved to the Southern Tier of New York to live with his sister and turned to drinking heavily to cope.

“And it got out of control,” he says. “It just seemed like my whole universe was crashing.”

He eventually sought help at a treatment program in Binghamton. Three weeks later, the 44-year-old was preparing to start over. He realized being alone at his sister’s rural home was not in his best interest. He found an opening at the Binghamton Rescue Mission.

"And this is exactly what I needed – I needed the support that they give here; I needed the structure and just to be around people."


Putting the Pieces Back Together

Tom has stayed clean since leaving treatment and moving to the Rescue Mission in July. He says that he was broken physically, mentally, and emotionally, but the Rescue Mission’s staff helped him put the pieces back together and change his outlook on life.

“I found myself here,” Tom says. “I like helping people which I never knew.”

Tom helps other residents whenever he can, which he says is much different than the person he was. He attends the monthly community meals and in February, participated in the Rescue Mission’s Freeze Out 5K.

Although his health restrictions have kept him from working, Tom says he plans to take cosmetology courses through BOCES with the goal of opening a barber shop in the future.

He closes by connecting his past and present, and reflecting upon homelessness, the Rescue Mission, and you – our supporters.

“In Denver, I had seen homelessness, but had never experienced it myself.” He pauses, “We all got this myth in our head … When you hear the word homeless, it’s not something to cringe at. We are people that come from all walks of life – rich, poor … We are all just one step away from [the Rescue Mission], you know? So keep thinking about us, we love the support.”

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