Matt struggled with addiction his whole life. After a few years in different shelters, including St. Leonard’s Place Peel (SLP), he tried to make it out on his own. In the only apartment he could afford, Matt was surrounded by substance abuse. Matt had a problem with alcohol in the past, but in this new environment he developed a chemical substance dependency as well.

Matt fell into a vicious cycle. He used all of his income to pay for his habit, the habit that eventually caused him to lose his job. He lost contact with his family, and stopped paying his bills. Matt became indebted to his drug dealers and his landlord. “I was living in constant fear of death and violence that could await me if I didn’t pay my debts,” Matt explains.

When the eviction notice came, Matt knew where to go. “SLP provided me with emotional support and comfort,” Matt says. “The staff and residents made me feel safe.”

Through the RejuvEd program Matt learned valuable life skills including how to communicate, maintaining good health, problem solving and how to handle a crisis. His personal Case Manager directed him to a program to overcome his addiction and monthly visits with a psychiatrist.

Though Matt’s journey is not over, he is on the right path. “I am grateful to SLP for providing me with a home, love, care and community where I can keep growing.”

When you give to United Way you give more than a bed to sleep in for a homeless person. You give them the possibility of escape from a life of poverty, and a community to find support.