Randy has not had an easy life. His father left the picture when he was just five years old, and his childhood memories include a house filled with violence, poverty, and drug and alcohol abuse. Randy remembers a constant feeling of loneliness as a child.
“Going to school, I always felt like an outcast. I felt lonely. I never felt like I fit in. We were also poor, so you go to school and you get picked on. It really hardened my heart and caused me to isolate. So when I got ahold of drugs and alcohol, they became my best friend.”
Randy eventually dropped out of high school. Drugs and alcohol took over his life, and he found himself incarcerated by age 17. For years, Randy struggled with his addiction and was in and out of prison and treatment programs.
During a long period of sobriety, Randy enrolled in college. He needed to complete an internship, and after reading about Good Sam’s program, thought it would be the perfect fit. The Good Sam team happily welcomed Randy as an intern. Immediately following the completion of his internship, the pandemic hit. Randy lived alone and the forced isolation triggered a relapse after eight years of sobriety. After seeking addiction treatment, he had a moment of clarity and knew he needed help.
“I showed up to Good Sam with a laundry bag full of clothes and a pillow. I was very ashamed. I had a lot of guilt. They welcomed me with open arms. They prayed for me and helped me carry my stuff to the shelter. I did feel freedom walking through these doors and I was very grateful to be here.”
Randy met many of his goals at Good Sam. He participated in our microloan program to help pay off debts and repair his credit, he graduated college with a degree in Social Work and a Minor in Business. He became a house manager for one of Good Sam’s Phoenixville Emergency Housing properties. He has also improved his relationships with family, including his son.
“It doesn’t matter if you come from the streets or if you have a college degree, there’s something here for everybody who’s experiencing homelessness and trying to make changes in their life.”