Charles had completed the Mission’s Addiction Recovery Program and was two months into the Mission’s 3-12 month Career Development Program when his Crohn’s disease started to flare up. The chaplains convinced Charles to go the hospital and called an ambulance.
At the hospital, Charles received surgery but was discharged before he was completely healed. When he returned to the Mission, he faced a hard choice.
“In the Career Development Program, you either go to school or work, and I chose to work. But once I got back from the hospital, I realized that I was too sick to work.”
The Mission’s chaplains didn’t think working would be good for Charles’ health. They encouraged him to apply for disability, but Charles wasn’t ready to leave the Mission.
“When things don’t go the way you want them to go, it’s easy to run back to your old way of doing things. I know that if I was out in the real world that would happen.”
Instead of leaving the Mission, Charles was referred to the Respite Care Program.
“Respite made it possible for me to not stop what I started. If it wasn’t for Respite, I would have had to stop my progress in the program. Now, I can still meet one on one with chaplains and work at larger issues that were keeping me from living a stable life.”
Respite has also helped Charles conquer a major life issue: an inability to show weakness.
“I never liked people seeing me when I was weak. Now, I have no choice. It has given me an opportunity to be vulnerable in front of people and to show other men that don’t like to show weakness that it’s ok to be vulnerable.”
Charles is also thankful that the Respite Care Program has made a difficult decision easy.
“Everyone has decisions to make about their life when they’re sick, but when you’re living on the streets, those decisions are harder. If it wasn’t for Respite, where would I go?”
Charles is still at Respite Care, continuing with his recovery in the Career Development Program, healing from a life-threating flare-up of Crohn’s disease and applying for disability.