College Dreams and a Story of Transformation

During the 2008 recession, Alex’s parents lost their jobs and went through a separation. They came to Haven for Hope. The stress and reality sunk in. Alex’s mother worked with case managers and worked on a plan to transition into stable housing.

Here is his amazing transformational story about hope, and fulfilling his dream of attending college.

Ashley’s Transformational Story

Ashley endured emotional, verbal, and physical abuse from her immediate family and in her marriage. She wanted to make a change and came to Haven for Hope. Ashley utilized several of Haven’s resources including counseling, parenting classes, and housing assistance. Watch her powerful transformational story.

Secure Future

Jerry Bauer

“This wasn’t supposed to happen to me!” said Jerry Bauer.  Raised in a military household, he understood hard work and rules. He attended college in Ohio, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree.  For 28 years, Jerry ran a lucrative auto detailing company in Miami, Florida. He was successful and had the financial means to run with the “fast” crowd, which led to a life of addiction. After Hurricane Andrew hit Florida, Jerry moved to Texas to be closer to family and started over.

He was evicted from his apartment in San Antonio due to drug possession. Jerry was one of the first clients to enter Haven for Hope and was given a bed in the men’s dormitory. He worked with a case manager and was back on his own in a short time. However, Jerry did not fully appreciate his addiction and found himself evicted from another apartment,  and back at Haven for Hope for the second time.

This time at Haven for Hope, a 12-step program helped him address his addiction.  Jerry worked hard to save money and vowed that he would not return to Haven for Hope as a client ever again. Today, Jerry works as a security supervisor at the San Antonio Library.  Since the library closed, due to the COVID-19 crisis, he needed to find a temporary job.  He is now working security at the hotel secured to house some 300 Haven for Hope clients.  Jerry readily shares his story and lessons learned with clients at the hotel, along with words of encouragement.

Running the Road to Recovery

Rudy Meza, arrived on the Haven for Hope campus in June of 2018.  He entered the Center for Healthcare Services’ Integrated Treatment Program (ITP), offered on the Haven for Hope campus to work through issues with trauma and drug addiction.  Addiction caused rifts with his mother, Kim, and three sisters, Mirna, Noemi and Lizette.  Now Rudy is part of Next Right Steps (NRS).  NRS is a sober living program provided on the Haven for Hope campus by the non-profit Pay it Forward and this is where Rudy currently lives while working on his recovery.  Rudy initially joined the Street2Feet program because of his competitive nature.  Soon after entering the training program, the competitive aspect became secondary to the therapeutic benefits he received.  Spurred on by encouragement from the Street2Feet community, running became the cornerstone of his recovery.  Discipline, setting reasonable goals, and putting one foot in front of the other, even when unmotivated to do so, bolstered his efforts to be a better man.  

As Rudy put it, “nobody comes to Haven on a winning streak,” but having reinvented himself through running and becoming “more than he thought he could be,” he is sharing the secret of his success with peers in the NRS program.  Where new faces might lack self-confidence, he is providing support and encouragement, just as the Street2Feet community did for him.  Rudy now works in a customer service role which has given him skills he can use in many roles. This employment opportunity also offers Rudy the resources to manage finances and will eventually assist him transitioning off-campus. 

After only 6 months of training, he completed the 2018 San Antonio Rock’n’Roll half-marathon.  Rudy is especially proud to have reunited with his family and baby sister, Lizette, who crossed the finish line with him.  Rudy’s story highlights how collaboration with partners helps Haven for Hope clients transform their lives.  

Chance Encounter Saved His Life

Tod Michel

Before coming to Haven for Hope, Tod was alone, homeless and addicted to both drugs and alcohol. His family had all but given up on him.  A chance encounter with a Haven for Hope Jail Outreach staff member helped him transform his life and become a person he can be proud of today. 

Through counseling, Tod learned that the things he did as an adult were a direct reflection of the trauma he suffered as a child.  He cannot recall a day is his childhood where there was no abuse of some sort-mental, physical or sexual. Self-medication with alcohol and drugs was his coping mechanism all his life. Haven for Hope facilitated his ability to understand and cope with complex trauma and move forward.

“Anything you need to get back on your feet is here at Haven – employment services, counseling, and more.” Then put his name on the right-hand side instead of stated Tod.

Today, Tod is a Residential Support Specialist in dorms that serve some clients on the Courtyard at Haven for Hope. He shares his own recovery experiences with them as they contemplate taking the first step in their journey.  “Anything you need to get back on your feet” is here at Haven- employment services, counseling, and more, stated Tod.  As he stated, “I get to come to work every day”, and the work I do is making a difference in my life and the lives of others. Happily, he has a good relationship with his family, once again, and gets to see his grandchildren regularly.

A Journey to Mental Wellness

A Journey to Mental Wellness

Windy’s journey of homelessness began in 2012. Exasperated from years of Windy’s inability to address her mental health and after several domestic disputes, Windy’s husband John dropped her off at Haven for Hope.

It was not until Windy came to Haven, did she realize or recognize, the role trauma had played in her life. For the first time, Windy received in-depth psychological treatment and medication. While at Haven, Windy was able to obtain various benefits such as Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and food stamps.
Shortly after her mental health stabilized and improved, Windy was able to obtain housing which allowed her to live independently in the community. Today, she is living with John and her children. She is continuing with her mental health treatment, as well as her medication and credits hard work and Haven for her success. Windy, we wish you continued success!