‘I Was Lonely Inside Myself’

Fred is in Depaul USA permanent accommodation in St Louis. We have been helping him with the addiction issues that led to him living on the streets. This is Fred’s story:

‘12 years. I stopped doing cocaine December 31st 2005. That’s my quitting date, my anniversary date.

‘I was married for 19 years, then we separated. She moved back to Chicago, I stayed here in St Louis, then I went to get her back but it was too late. I started smoking weed then got addicted to crack cocaine up there ‘cause I couldn’t get her back so I was going to that mental state of mind. I was lonely inside myself.

‘One day I was walking down the street and I had a crack pipe in my pocket so they locked me up for that. I wasn’t stealing, robbing, none of that kind of stuff – we hated those kind of guys. We were the good bad guys. I wanted to get off drugs, at my age I’m not a child anymore. You’ve gotta quit one day. When I got a place [from Depaul USA] I didn’t believe it was a whole apartment – and when they told me it was mine for permanent, that just broke me up. I’d like to thank Depaul for letting me be in their facilities, for putting up with Fred. I thank them for everything now. I’ve got a cat, and a kitten too…’