Jerome had been looking for a exit plan to end his life of drugs, alcohol and hopelessness.
Addicted to prescription drugs and alcohol for more than 30 years, he made a decision to change his life. Jerome entered the Adult Rehabilitation Center (ARC) in Tampa in 2014 and spent the year rebuilding his life.
Jerome was able to end his years of drug and alcohol abuse with the help of the ARC. But he realized quickly upon his completion of the program that he was not ready to face his new world.
“Problem was I didn’t make an exit plan. I didn’t want to let them know that I didn’t do my homework and figure things out,” Jerome said.
The night Jerome left the ARC was cold. He had no plan, no one to call and nowhere to go. After two nights on the streets, he decided it was time to go back to The Salvation Army, to see if they could help him for good.
“I really didn’t like myself at all. I didn’t like the end product of sobriety at all.”
Throughout the time Jerome was on the streets, he didn’t go back to drugs and alcohol. The tough part would be overcoming his internal struggles and finding stable employment.
“I was scared to death. I couldn’t look someone in the eye and say ‘hire me.’”
“How could they hire me when I would not hire me?”
Jerome was able to enter The Salvation Army in Tampa’s Homeless Transition Program, a 45-day program designed to provide job training and housing resources to the homeless.
“I am a resource person, so I looked out for all the resources I could find.”
Though Jerome was able to find work, his anxiety and self-esteem kept him stuck. Little-by-little he began to apply the advice and love given to him by the case managers at The Salvation Army.
“I have a really bad anxiety issue. I couldn’t even look myself in the mirror at the time.”
“The case managers at The Salvation Army did something I couldn’t do for myself: They believed in me. “