When John began using drugs and drinking at 13, he couldn’t have foreseen that it would lead to a decade of life on the streets, sleeping in the park, and living under bridges.
Tyrone had reached a point in his life where nothing mattered except “the next high or the next bottle.” Growing up in a very strict family and church, he rebelled, becoming “the black sheep of the family.” The drinking and drug use that began in his late teens continued into his later life and brought nothing but trouble.
Like many young people, Cliff was active in his church. He belonged to a Boy Scout troop and played guitar at mass. But also like so many others, he drifted away from the church in high school – about the time he started smoking marijuana.
James was laid off from his security job and moved in with a cousin in Allentown while he looked for work. But his job search was in vain. “I was here more than a year trying to find jobs and nothing panned out.”
Tim is a man who has learned to persevere through life’s setbacks. “My job laid me off, then my wife left, and I couldn’t pay the mortgage on my house so I had to give it up,” he says.
Paul was attending an AA meeting when he learned about the Mission. “I had a history of drinking,” he says. “And alcoholism wasn’t paying the rent.” Paul lived on the streets of Allentown for nearly two weeks before he decided he needed to change his life.
David knows all about overcoming obstacles and limitations. You see, he was the assistant director of a drug treatment program here in Allentown.
Over the past three decades, Tim and his twin brother both worked hard. There were eight years in a textile mill, followed by fourteen years at a plastics factory and then six years at a convenience store. When they were let go from their last job, neither was able to find work.
Kiwanis and his family had just settled into a new apartment when the 19-year-old’s world was turned upside down. “The landlord said, ‘Your oldest son is too old to stay with you,’” Kiwanis says. “I came home from school that day and my mom told me I couldn’t stay there. I left and started walking.”