George

TRAGEDY AND DRUGS TURN INTO PURPOSE AND SOBRIETY

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“St. Patrick Center makes time for me and that means a lot. I feel like I’m part of the St. Patrick Center family.”

Drugs, prison, a critical car accident, deaths of loved ones and homelessness can’t kill George Rhodes’ spirit. “I’ve been through the storm, but I’m still here.”

Life was promising for George: He graduated high school and joined the Army, serving as Military
Police. But drugs intervened in his success and just when life was looking up, it was literally turned upside-down in the blink of an eye when his fiancée was paralyzed from the chest down. “The van flipped over on the way to Missouri. It crushed her lungs and broke her back. She was critical.”

The adversity was too much for the couple, and a life involving drugs became a life of nothing but drugs. George found himself homeless, with just a comforter from his bed to keep him warm during a cold winter. When he got hungry he went to St. Patrick Center for food, but found
much more – purpose and sobriety. “I smoked my last stone [crack cocaine] under that comforter.”

George participated in our Better Employment Skills for Tomorrow (BEST) program and eventually found a job at a floor cleaning company. But tragedy struck once again; his fiancée died and then his sister soon after. “I was going into a spiral,” George said. His friends at St. Patrick Center connected him with a grief counselor, who put him back on the right path.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit and George lost his job he knew where to turn so that he didn’t lose his housing. “Every time I call (St. Patrick Center) they find the appropriate methods to keep me on track. I can always depend on them for everything.”

Published July 17, 2020