A changed man changing lives

Coalition for the Homeless

For nearly a decade, Carlos struggled with substance abuse.

His addiction caused the separation from his fiancé, a lack of housing stability, a felony charge, and a complete disregard for his life.

At the peak of his drug use, he was completely controlled by a desire to get high. “I couldn’t shake the drugs, no matter what I tried,” he said.

But one day, with only $10.00 in his pocket, Carlos bumped into Jake Scott, an old friend who had since become a Coalition for the Homeless client-turned-employee.

Jake took Carlos to Johnny Little, the Coalition’s First Steps Substance Abuse Recovery Program Director at the time. “[Johnny] asked me a question I’ll never forget,” Carlos recalls. “He looked at me and said, ‘Do you want to save yourself or go out there with that $10 and kill yourself?’”

Carlos entered the Coalition’s First Steps program that day.

Through hard work and support from the staff, he completed the unique program and left the Coalition a clean and sober man. “The bottom line is the Coalition works,” he said. “It’s a place to get your life together.”

He didn’t stay away for long, though.

A year later, Carlos learned about an employment opportunity at the Coalition and knew that this was where his heart belonged. “The Coalition changed my life. At my worst point, they didn’t give up on me, so now I’m not going to give up on the guys that stay here… I like to be here to let them know there is hope.”