Growing up in Waterbury, I always loved the people in my neighborhood and my family. I had a real passion for sports, especially basketball. I was one of the best players in the city when I graduated high school and I was ready for my next step, college in Boston, MA.

My grades were always mediocre but I was a great basketball player so I started off in Junior College. I played ball, met new friends and was on top of the world. That's when the symptoms started. I started to hear voices and be easily confused. The only relief I found was with people that were using drugs. As the symptoms increased, the drug use increased and I was no longer able to go to school and play basketball. The next 15 to 20 years was filled with psychiatric hospitalizations, arrests, drug use, homelessness, and certainly helplessness.

Eventually I was referred to Mark Lane Supervised Apartment Program. The drugs and medication side effects had taken a toll on me and I needed a lot of help to take care of myself. The staff at St. Vincent's made sure I had a safe place to sleep, kept me away from drugs, helped go to the grocery store so I would have enough food for the month, made sure I was taking my medications and working with my doctors to feel better. It was here that I developed friendships and a stronger than ever relationship with my family.

Living on my own was never going to be an option for me anymore. I was getting older and struggled to be able to take care of the things one needs to do to live on his own. Thanks to relationships with other providers in the area, St. Vincent DePaul helped me find a residential care home that I would be able to live my years out in. Without the help of the staff I don't think I would have made it this far.

Now my family can visit me and my new girlfriend in a safe environment. They know I will always be well cared for and my old staff from St. Vincent's and I go out for ice cream at least once per month. I still like to attend the holiday parties and picnics at Mark Lane so that I can stay in touch with all my old friends. I am no longer helpless and I can honestly say that I am truly happy.   


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