Following a break-up with my girlfriend I was on the streets on a very cold night in December. I was too embarrassed to seek out family or other friends and decided to sleep on the heating grates at a local hospital. There I met a guy who told me about the Haven and together we went to St. Patrick Haven the next night. After a few months of feeling sorry for myself and spending every penny I could get my hands on on booze, I decided that there was a better way to live. I was still at the Haven and once I ‘straightened’ out, I was offered a Manager’s job. What a break! My self-worth rekindled, I enjoyed being with the men, supporting them where I could and respecting where they were coming from. This was over 20 years ago. Today I am married; we have a daughter and a son who are gifted. I have achieved Manager’s status at my place of work...much of my success hearkens back to those days.
- An Early Manager
I came to St. Patrick Haven one night out of desperation. Since returning from oversees and my time in the military I was sick and just wanted a place to stay for the night. It so happened that that night I ended up in the hospital thanks to the quick work of a Haven Manager. When I was released, I was welcomed back to St. Patrick’s and found it to be my haven in the days ahead. As I regained my physical and emotional strength, I found a part-time job, saved my money and am enjoying the apartment I live in to this day.
I arrived in Erie and heard on the streets of St. Patrick Haven. I thought I would give it a try. It wasn't long until I felt right at home but had a major need to return to my roots in New York State where I expected to be welcomed back from my stint in Vietnam with ‘open arms’. The ‘Good Sisters’ at the Haven met me at the bus station and paid for a one way ticket. New York State did not end up being what I hoped and dreamed and I took to the road ending up back in Erie and at the Haven. I was welcomed once again and took this welcoming seriously; I offered to be part of the cleaning crew for the sole reward of signing in an hour early. I didn't stay too long but will forever be grateful for my healing time there.