Rory’s road – from homeless to hired

"Coalition for the Homeless"

As mentioned, throughout the construction of Coalition for the Homeless’ Men’s Service Center, we will be sharing with you the stories of some of the men who have called the Coalition home. This week, we’d like to introduce you to Rory.

Rory came to Orlando on a whim in June 2007. He didn’t know what to expect of Orlando, but he knew he wanted to completely change his life – his habits, his attitude, his spirituality…everything.

Upon arriving in the City Beautiful, Rory was directed to the Coalition and introduced to our First Steps Substance Abuse Recovery Program. On June 27, 2007, a date ingrained in his memory, he entered the program. In conjunction with other substance abuse recovery curriculums he had completed in the past, First Steps helped Rory get clean. “First Steps was the ‘tune-up’ I needed,” he said. He has been sober ever since!

After completing the shelter recovery component of the program, Rory moved into one of the Coalition’s on-site apartments, the transitional housing phase of First Steps, and began putting aside money from each paycheck. With the Coalition’s help and a lot of hard work, he succeeded in transforming his life.

In addition to completing First Steps, Rory utilized the Orange County Public Schools LifeStrides program located on the Coalition’s main campus. LifeStrides enabled him to take television production courses through Orlando Tech. As a result of his newly attained education, he was offered a job at the Orlando Convention Center!

“My advice for these guys is to have a made up mind about what you want to do with your life, and to stick to it even when times get tough,” he said.

"Coalition for the Homeless"In 2009, Rory left the Coalition and moved east towards the coast. He remained there for two years until he lost his job and thus, his residence. Knowing the Coalition could help him again, he decided to come back to Orlando.

While diligently looking for work every day, Rory found and applied to an open position at the Coalition. Rickie Butler, the Men’s Pavilion Manager, hired him. He has been part of the Coalition team for over three months now!

Like the rest of the Coalition staff, Rory can’t keep the upcoming Men’s Service Center (MSC) off his mind. “The MSC will be so much more beneficial to homeless men… The guys will have even more people like me – people who really understand how they got where they are – helping them.”