A Lot of Help, All in One Place
Hi, I’m Tommy. At the Mission, the staff help to make sure I’m comfortable and doing the job of recovery properly. It’s a good thing, considering the messes I’ve been through.
I was 10 when my parents split up. My father opened up a company for union carpenters doing unusual installations. On school vacations I worked for him and eventually learned the business as well as he did. He always had success and shared that with me too. He bought me some toys, and I earned some others, but he had a party side to him also. Money flowed freely, and he found some trouble with addiction. Maybe that’s where I learned it.
I got into smoking weed, but not seriously until my early 20s. After drinking one day, I had a serious dirt bike accident and needed screws and plates to hold lots of broken bones together. At 24, I got into some harder drugs after connecting with guys at a jail. Odd jobs and money started to dwindle away. A few deals went bad, and I found the inside of a jail cell for the first time. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the last.
With drug addiction came life on the streets. For me, that meant a regular cycle of jail, release, work, money, and drug use. Sometimes I could be a functional addict, but sometimes I went off the deep end. I didn't become homeless until a couple of years ago. Times got harder, and after enough trips through jail, my attitude was “if I’m caught, I’m caught.” Eventually, I couldn’t work full time. In back-to-back operations, plates were taken out and plates put back in. I became very medicated. After years of abuse, everything caught up with me. Finally, I went to a stabilization program, took steps to remove myself from methadone, got admitted to the hospital for another month, and came to the Boston Rescue Mission.
The Mission has a structured environment which helps me in so many ways. My body still needs attention—the excellent nurses are watching my suboxone, weaning me off other meds, and guiding me through some long-neglected dental work. The counseling is great, especially the help with spiritual work. Staff really have their heart in the right place, working with me on healing relationships. My family situation is complicated, and picking away at it without feeling like a prisoner really helps me.
Every day I’m grateful to have a roof over my head and a bed to recharge my batteries. It’s heartwarming to see the volunteers working here and seeing new sides of people in a good way. It speaks high volumes that mentors work within the community to move people to healing. When the drug lifestyle caught up to me, I’m glad the Mission was here to rescue me!