Russell’s Story

As featured in our August newsletter; here is Russell’s story of success!

Russell spent most of his adult life as a successful working man with a beautiful family. One day, however, he was introduced to cocaine. At first, he thought he could stop at any time. Then suddenly, his paycheck would go directly to support a weekend binge. His wife and children felt alienated. Cocaine enchanted him and became his priority over work, family and everything else.

Soon, Russell found himself sleeping under bridges and in abandoned buildings- driven from his family and employment by his addiction. It wasn’t too long before Russell hit rock bottom.  After deciding that he was ready to end his addiction and homelessness, Russell came to the Gateway Center.

He committed to a life of clarity and sobriety and began encouraging other men to do the same. Staff at Gateway quickly recognized Russell’s leadership abilities and invited him to be a part of the Resident Assistant program. Russell continues to serve Gateway as a Resident Assistant in the Veterans’ Program on the fourth floor of the Gateway Center.

He has reconciled with his family, and was able to see his daughter graduate from law school this past spring. Russell is now highly involved in his children’s lives and now has a beautiful grandbaby who he gets to see regularly. He is a deacon in his church and also a member of the Back on My Feet running team at Gateway. Russell believes his faith and his support network through Gateway, and other agencies helped him to change directions in his life.

Russell is currently attending a training to become a certified Peer Specialist and has the goal of working in social services.


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