bob-2-0079A new place to call home

“I never thought I would be homeless.” After decades of struggling with addiction and five years of homelessness Bob had lost hope. Sleeping on park benches, in ATM machine lobbies, hotel hallways, and in parkades he described himself as having “no purpose”.

Overcome with the emotional pain of injuring a person in a car accident, Bob began to number his days. “I just didn’t think it was worthwhile living. I was in a dark spot in my life. I had nowhere to go and nothing to do.” That’s when Bob called the Umbrella Society and began his path of recovery from addiction.

“When I started the process of recovery, I was at my end. I wanted to die.”

Two years later Bob is alive, thriving and a leader in his community. When asked about his life now, Bob tells how he spends his days facilitating recovery meetings and reaching out to those who are experiencing difficult times. “I like to help people in need because I know what it feels like when you are at the end of your rope with nowhere to go. It’s pretty tough.”

If it weren’t for the blanket of community services funded by United Way, Bob might not be alive today to touch the lives of so many in his community. “Without United Way I would not have been able to survive on the streets.” A frequent visitor of Our Place and Cool Aid Society (both United Way funded partners), he describes how they helped with showers, laundry, haircuts, dental work, food, and temporary lodging.

Today Bob credits his life to his perseverance, the Umbrella Society and Pacifica Housing, also funded partners of United Way. “What Pacifica has done for me is give my life back. I have my own place, its warm, it’s clean, and I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world.”

“Recovery is my number one priority. I am really looking forward to a life of being drug and alcohol free, spending quality time with my family, watching my grandkids grow, helping out the community as much as I can, and getting healthier.”

“I am very grateful for what I have. I have a roof over my head and my family back in my life and it’s thanks to our community. If it wasn’t for the United Way, I would not be where I am today.”