Bout With Homelessness Pushes Roy To Make A Change
Roy, who hails from Arizona, always held down a job. He played guitar in a heavy metal band, often performing in bars, and enjoyed social drinking. “It was just always around,” Roy said. “It was only on the weekends at first and it was no big deal. But it just kind of escalated.”
After a string of unfortunate events, Roy’s drinking took a turn. “I got laid off from a job, went through a bad relationship, and the house I was living in, the people sold it, so I ended up on the streets living in my car,” Roy said. “That all happened within a two-month period. So you have no job, no money, no gas to go get a job—that’s when you have nothing to do, and you’re in a parking lot, and you spend half your remaining money on gas and the other half on beer.
“I got to the point where I’d drink a beer when I woke up each morning,” he added. “It got really bad. If I didn’t have a drink, I would get shaky. When I tried to stop drinking (hard liquor), I got seizures for a few months.”
Roy decided to quit, and maintained sobriety for spurts of time before relapsing. He tried AA and a program with twice-per-week check ins. “None of it really worked,” Roy said. “Actually, it made me want to drink more. That’s not a good thing. I knew I needed something different.”
Roy’s brother lives in Arizona, too. His best friend Daniel graduated from the mission’s program last month and was singing its praises. He encouraged Roy to give it a try, so he made the journey to Victorville. He’s been in the program for just a few weeks. “I didn’t know what to expect, but everybody has been really welcoming,” he said. “It was a big jump—don’t get me wrong. I was nervous and scared. I used to be really shy, and I’m still that way a bit. I was going to a town I know nothing about, living with people I know nothing about.”
But so far, the transition has been easier than Roy thought. “It’s hard, and I’m homesick,” he said, “but it’s better to be away from everything and everybody here. It’s nice being around people who have been in similar situations and are trying. It’s not like you are talking to someone who doesn’t understand anything. They have a grasp on what you’re dealing with and that’s been really helpful.”