Derek has a home for the holidays

Dec 7, 2015 by

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We all enjoy being home for the holidays. It’s a special time for family, fellowship and giving.

For Derek, this holiday year will have special meaning. It will be his first Christmas in his new apartment that Shepherds of Good Hope helped find for him.

Derek came to us with serious substance abuse challenges. He spent some days drinking Listerine and taking drugs he knew were damaging his health. He was living in shelters and on the street. Life was chaotic and hard.

Derek had tried before to rid his life of drugs and alcohol but he continued to struggle. When he came to Shepherds of Good Hope, we put him in a program that helps homeless people who are chronically ill and dealing with ongoing physical and/or mental health issues.

Soon, Derek was on the road to recovery and he was enrolled in our managed alcohol program, a program where men and women are given a monitored amount of alcohol every hour as a way of stabilizing their health. We ensure they get healthy meals and they have their own bed to sleep in each night.

Derek then moved to our Enhanced Support Program. He continued to receive medical care and support but was also provided the life skills training needed to live on his own.

Recently, Derek was ready to take the next step. It was a two-year journey but Derek’s hard work, with the help of Shepherds of Good Hope, paid off and he moved into his new apartment.

Derek was in awe when he walked through the doors for the first time.

“I don’t have to worry about whether the toilet or bathtub is clean,” he said. “I know this belongs to me.”

One of the first things he did was take a bath, knowing he didn’t have to rush. He didn’t have to save water for the next person. There was no time limit.

Living in the shelter, Derek had to share the bathroom with dozens of other men. He didn’t have a room of his own.  Life can be noisy in a shelter. Derek was always surrounded by other men and women and it was difficult for him to find a quiet space of his own for reflection.

At Shepherds of Good Hope, our goal is to help other people like Derek realize their own dream of having a place to call home, a place to decorate during the holidays, a place to create lasting and meaningful memories.

We know Derek is creating his own special memories as he celebrates Christmas in his new home. Thanks to your continuous support, you are helping men and women like Derek have their own wonderful Christmas and to realize a life of dignity.

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