I lived on the streets for two years and will never forget how dark a place it was. I was poor, scared and lonely, and what little control I had seemed to slip through my fingers. I never thought I’d find myself on this journey, but in the spring of 2002, I was at the doorstep of the Old Brewery Mission.
My story is neither typical nor exceptional. I grew up the youngest of eight children. My mother was a stay-at-home mom and my father was a hardworking man who passed away when I was 21. Both had a heart of gold. When my dad died, the connection between my siblings became more and more distant; we all had busy lives and eventually lost touch with each other.
I had all the creature comforts—a great apartment, good clothes, a full-time job that I enjoyed and not a care for the future. Like my dad, I was hardworking—60 hours a week in the service industry, mostly evenings and nights. Without realizing it, this type of lifestyle took its toll and I lost the one thing most of us take for granted… the safety-net of friends and family. I was alone and I didn’t know it.
This was never more apparent than when tragedy hit me. I became very ill and was admitted to the hospital with a life-threatening condition. After intensive medical treatments and weeks of being bed-ridden, I eventually got better. I also realized that I was truly alone and that I simply couldn’t make it on my own anymore.
The Old Brewery Mission was there when I needed them the most—providing me with warm meals, a change of clothes and a bed to sleep in at night. They helped me regain my self-esteem and recapture the dream of a simple and fulfilling life. They became the safety-net that I had lost… that anyone of us could lose. For that, I am forever grateful to them.
Giving back to those who find themselves on the streets is my way of saying “Thank you.” Today, I volunteer several hours a week, serving meals at the Webster Pavilion and doing administrative work at the Foundation.
I thank you with all my heart for supporting the Old Brewery Mission. Your gift truly makes a difference for the thousands of women and men like me who need a helping hand to get back on their feet again.