• Richard

    Employable and Grateful

    Hi. I’m Richard. The staff and programs here at the Boston Rescue Mission gave me back the dignity I didn’t think I had. Now I’m employable and working again. But nothing is owed to me, and I take nothing for granted. That kind of thinking used to get me into trouble.

    My father was an alcoholic. After alcohol abuse destroyed our house, we decided not to see him anymore, and I swore I’d never be like him. My mother did a great job helping me work through a learning disability in school. Imagine studying all night for a test, knowing it inside and out, going to bed, and forgetting it all in the morning! That was me.

    After stumbling through school, I waited tables and worked in a hospital for awhile. At some point I became a weekend drinker, a sort of reward for working hard through the week. After taking a more stressful job in Rhode Island, they required me to take classes and earn certificates. My drinking escalated. The learning disability reared its ugly head, I couldn’t pass the tests, and they laid me off.

    Then the drinking kicked in big time. I drank every day. My wife threw me out. I went to a friend’s house, and got thrown out. And then another. I tried a program, but couldn’t make it work. Finally, I found myself on the street. I felt like I had everything and lost everything. One day decided I was sick of it. I checked myself into the hospital, and realized I was no better than others in the same predicament.

    My roommate told me about the Boston Rescue Mission, and it changed my life. It took extra work to come here, but I called and was fortunate enough to enter the program. Now I’m regaining self-confidence by helping others in the overnight shelter program. It helps me remember that just one drink can bring me back to that life out on the angry streets. I’m walking with my children, and putting more effort into my family, even on the tough days. I just want to be a better person, and I know I can be, with the help of the Mission.

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