“I want to better myself”

Twenty-seven years old, Frank has struggled with addiction since his teen years. “I burnt a lot of bridges,” he says, and that’s how he ended up without a place to live. He had been kicked out of a boarding house and was staying at a shelter when he came to St. Herman House this past August. “Compared to outside, this is like heaven,” he says of St. Herman’s. He knew the alternatives and didn’t want to get kicked out, so he tried hiding his drinking from Paul, but he couldn’t hide it well enough. Although he was working two part-time jobs, Paul could see the writing on the wall. “He had lost other jobs because of his drinking, and unless he addressed his addiction, he was going to lose these jobs, too. And I couldn’t let him stay in the house and keep drinking.”

Paul advised Frank to focus his energies not on working but on getting help. Frank quit his jobs and instead enrolled in an intensive outpatient program (IOP) for people recovering from addiction. He also began working on his General Education Diploma. In the past he had lost out on job opportunities because he didn’t have a high school diploma. Between the IOP and his studies, he spends 6-7 hours a day at the May Dugan Center, a multi-service organization a few blocks from St Herman’s. May Dugan has social workers, addiction counseling, and an education center, and Frank is taking advantage of all there is to offer. The services he accesses there are saving his life, he says. “Its going to make me out to be something great. I know I’m on the right track.”

“I’m putting all of my time into bettering myself, staying sober and getting my GED. “

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