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.