“The YMCA is a great start for everyone. It’s a stepping stone on the journey.”
After struggling with an addiction to heroin for more than 20 years, Richard came to Des Moines from his home state of Massachusetts to participate in the Door of Faith program. “Being a junkie is every bit as awful as you think. I was in and out of rehab many, many times. I got clean at 57. Door of Faith was the start of a new life for me.” After completing that program, Richard came to the YMCA Supportive Housing Campus in June and says of his new home, “The location is right. I feel happiest when I am outside walking.”
Richard also loves to read. Several times a week he attends Narcotics Anonymous meetings and is able to let others in recovery know that they are not alone and that it’s possible to overcome addiction. “Life has gotten pretty good for me now,” reflects Richard.
He describes himself as reserved and guarded, but says that living in the Midwest is helping him to become increasingly friendly. When Richard was at Door of Faith, he worked in a thrift store and that was when he began to notice that people are kinder here that was his experience in New England.
You might be surprised to know that Richard is a talented baker. When he was growing up, his mother had a small pie business and supplied local restaurants with a variety of pies. It was during this time he had the opportunity to learn how to make pie crusts and all kinds of pies.
Richard believes that we should “treat others the way we want to be treated.” When asked what he would like people to know about living at the Y-SHC, he said, “The YMCA is a great start for everyone. It’s a stepping stone on the journey.”
He’d like his new found community to “celebrate diversity and be flexible with others because we all have different personalities!”