Drug-free and off the streets for 7 years and counting!

Homeless men

Jerry (second from the left) with other First Steps Program clients.

Before transforming his life, Jerry was a drug addict who slept on the streets of Orlando. He was the homeless man too many people give up on.

Jerry’s journey into homelessness began many years ago. In 1985, he lost his job and driver’s license because of drug and alcohol abuse. And as his addictions continued to spiral out of control, he also lost his residence. He bounced from one friend’s couch to another for awhile, but ultimately ended up on the streets.

It wasn’t until Jerry came to Coalition for the Homeless more than 15 years later that he changed his life, proving that it can be done. While staying at the Coalition’s Men’s Pavilion, Jerry met Johnny Little, the First Steps Substance Abuse Recovery Program Director at the time, who helped him along his path to sobriety – one day at a time.

Jerry not only graduated from the Coalition’s unique addiction recovery program, but also got back the driver’s license he hadn’t had for several years. With his First Steps certificate and reclaimed license in hand, he had the confidence to begin a new life.

We love catching up with our successful past clients and recently learned that Jerry has been drug-free and off the streets for more than 7 years now!

“First Steps worked,” he said. “I would never go back to the drugs or alcohol – living on the street, not knowing what I was going to eat, not knowing where I was going to sleep… If I hadn’t met Johnny and gotten into the Coalition’s program, I’d probably be dead right now.”