John: Catholic Charities Men's Shelter and Services

John*, a recovering alcoholic, never thought he would end up in a shelter for homeless men. In a matter of days, heíd gone from having a job and an apartment to having bronchitis and being unable to work. With no health insurance, he waited several days before going to a free clinic. John recovered but lost his job. Soon, the rent was due. The landlord told him he had to leave.

John resisted temptation for a few days but broke down and had a beer with a friend he was staying with. One beer led to another, and another, and John stopped trying to find work. The friend lost patience, and after a few nights out in the open, John went to the Catholic Charities Men's Shelter. There, he received a meal and was shown to a clean cot. He had his first chance in days to take a hot shower and wash his clothes.

John had a son, and he was determined to change his ways in order to be with him. With help from his caseworker, John moved from the shelter into a Catholic Charities apartment.†For the first time in months, Johnís son could stay with his dad, in his own room. From there, Johnís caseworker helped him find a job. John made a commitment to attend AA meetings. The caseworker kept in touch with John to make sure he was on track. With hard work, John regained his independence and rebuilt his relationship with his son.

*Name has been changed.