James and wife (2) -- CROPPED

“St. Patrick Center is the
essence of hope.”

After serving eight years in the U.S. Navy, James loved life — with a job, three children and happy marriage — but his struggles with addiction and mental illness eventually caused him to leave behind what he loved most. “I had the right things in my life; I just didn’t know how to do them right.”

For years, James went on drug binges. “I would be okay, then fall back into old bad habits.” One night, he left in the family vehicle. When he awoke the next day, the car had been stolen. Unable to face his family, he never went home. “I couch-surfed, and slept in abandoned homes, on sidewalks and on train platforms.”

James with two girlsJames learned about St. Patrick Center’s Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program from a fellow veteran. He enrolled and with the program’s help, found employment and housing. “I used everything I learned at St. Patrick Center to rebuild my life.” Case managers urged him to reconnect with his family. James later moved back home with the tools and resources he would need to stay on track. “The way that the staff at St. Patrick Center treat you makes an absolute difference in people’s lives.”

Today, James is clean and sober, taking his medication and seeing a counselor regularly. He’s working, happily married and loves spending time with his family.