Wayne had a long track record of success. He earned his BA degree in business with a minor in health while attending college on a football scholarship. He experienced homelessness after a long career managing traffic control workers.
After college, Wayne even had a tryout with the Kansas City Chiefs. Unfortunately, that ended in disappointment; but he didn't let that send him down a wrong path. He was committed to having a good life. He married his high school sweetheart and began working hard to provide for his family.
Through a series of jobs, Wayne continued to climb into some interesting occupations. He served as a “chicken hanger” (just as bad as it sounds), a bread salesman, and eventually the manager of a road crew of traffic control workers. Although he and his family moved around the country a bit, they felt like their lives had been good. All of that changed in a quick moment.
While driving alone down the highway, Wayne read a message that had been sent to him. The quick glance resulted in a collision with an overpass.
The damage to his spine and nerves left him unable to work. This began a long downward spiral.
Although Wayne moved back to Michigan to be with his extended family, dealing with pain and debilitating injuries left him in a deep depression. Soon, every relationship in his life was being strained by his depression and his emerging substance abuse.
The death of his father felt like the worst that could happen. But, before his father’s funeral, Wayne’s brother, also died. The grief was unbearable.
Wayne plunged deeper into the abuse of a variety of substances to numb the physical and emotional pain. None of it helped him relate to those who wished to be close to him. With every relationship now broken, he found himself completely isolated. Eventually, he lost everything.
Experiencing homelessness was devastating. He had lost hope. He kept trying to get sober, but at the end of each rehabilitation program, he found himself self-medicating the deep pain that wouldn’t go away. He kept trying, but always relapsed, quickly.
Numbing the depression had helped to hide other pains. While in a detox program, doctors discovered that Wayne had stage 4 cancer.
Confronted with his own mortality, Wayne began to cling to life.
The hospital referred Wayne to HOPE Recuperative Care Center.
HOPE was a life-saving resource for Wayne. Here, he was able to deal with his medical issues and receive extensive case management. He mended many of his relationships.
Wayne states that “HOPE challenges you to be your own man and acknowledge that what happens to you is up to you. HOPE has given me the opportunity to get it together.”
So, Wayne is reconnecting with family while taking care of his on-going health issues.
Recently, Wayne moved into his own apartment. “I couldn’t have done it without HOPE.”
NOTE WORTHY: Wayne received one of the Cleaning Kits recently donated by Eagle Scout Dominic Jolley of Troup 139. Wayne truly appreciated having all the things he needed to clean his new apartment.