Building Bridges back to Family

Vince came to the Gateway of Hope lost and alone: “When I came here, I had no hope. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. I was done.” He was exhausted, underweight, and totally isolated from his family. He was contemplating suicide.  He had spent most of his life in and out of prison and treatment centers. After another brush with the law, his social worker refused to send him back to treatment. He had been in treatment so many times, what was the point? He had nowhere to stay and his family wanted nothing to do with him. None of his sons were willing to take him in. That’s when his social worker recommended the Gateway of Hope’s Opportunities Program.

The program required that Vince be clean and sober for ninety days before admission. He knew this was his last chance, so he hung on, stayed clean and got accepted into the program. There was lots of work to be done to get his life in order and to re-establish contact with his family. He wasn’t sure he could do it. Then, about a month into the program, he went on a retreat with a group from the Gateway of Hope. It was there that he had a conversation with Justin, the Spiritual Care Coordinator from the Gateway of Hope. Vince had made a promise to his mom before she passed away that he would get clean and order his life. He wasn’t sure he could keep that promise, but Justin helped him to see how important it was to see the process through.

Vince continued in the program and grew in his recovery. It wasn’t always easy, but he knew that with the help the Gateway of Hope provided he could make it. “I had to do the hard work” of getting life in order, “but I needed the support.” He started to volunteer and help others around the building. He started to smile and laugh more, bringing joy to the staff and guests as he would stop to say hi and chat. Most importantly, he started talking to his children again. It took time, but the relationships started to rebuild as Vince showed he was serious and making progress in his recovery.

Upon completing the Opportunities Program, Vince’s relationship with his children had improved to the point that he was able to move into his son’s basement suite. “My grandkids want to see me now,” he says with a smile. He loves taking them to the park and the beach. Vince is thankful for the changes he has been able to make in his life, and he is certain about one thing:

“I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the Gateway of Hope.”

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