Giving Hope for New Beginnings
Charles Collier is a 17 year resident of Baltimore’s Paca House. He came to Volunteers of America after facing homelessness for over a year. “It was devastating,” He says “I found hope here, a light at the end of the tunnel.” Mr. Charlie sat down with Danielle Milner and Dominique Taylor of the VOA Chesapeake Development team to share his story for our Annual Report. Robert Foose, Director of the Paca House Psychiatric
Rehabilitation Program also joined the group to talk about the pressures faced by former addicts and how Mr. Charlie overcame the odds.
“I’d been on drugs for almost 52 years. There were some clean breaks in there, the times I was in Jail.” He recalls. Paca House’s random drug and alcohol testing policies hold residents accountable for their actions while regular meetings with the PRP Program help identify and address the causes of their addiction.
“We’re in a rough area.” Says Mr. Foose “At any given time you can go out on the street and get your hands on any number of pills. It’s not easy but Mr. Charlie had the determination to get better and we gave him the tools.”
Mr. Charlie, has a wealth of wisdom that he shared with us, even recalling getting dental work done at New York’s “Sing Sing” Prison. “On day they’ll be worth money!” He jokes. His spirit is infectious as he tells jokes about being in love, and one day having his pencil drawings up for auction at Sotheby’s.
“I’ve been here a long time, I’ve seen a lot of changes made here, and they’re for the better. They’re helping people get better.”
You too can join the staff at Paca House in helping members of the Baltimore community. Volunteers in the Baltimore area are always welcome and your donations provide basic necessities like laundry detergent and bed covers for residents. Donations can be made by clicking the link below and selecting “Paca House” from the drop down box. Together, we are all Called to Care™.
To read more about Mr. Charlie, click here!