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“I have COPD and addiction problems with fentanyl. I’ve been using through the years, and it affects my breathing as well. I got pneumonia and had to go to the hospital. When I got there, I died. They revived me, and then I had lost so much weight, they referred me to come here. This place has been a blessing to me. I’m very thankful for them!
All the staff are very caring and compassionate. They make sure your needs are met. I believe they go a little beyond that—they check on you and see if you’re doing ok, if you’re feeling alright, if you need anything, if you need somebody to talk to. They make sure they cover your needs and beyond. My case manager’s awesome! She’s religious, and I love that! So it helps me, it builds me, and makes me even stronger with the Lord. Her guidance has been very helpful.
What y’all do here, it gives me courage. It lets me know people do care. People aren’t looking down on me or making me feel shamed or not wanted. I felt like I wasn’t wanted. I wasn’t worthy of anything because all my mistakes, I created them myself. Then with the drug addiction, it made me feel so worthless, so I thought nobody would understand. I thought they’d be ashamed of me and shun me, which they didn’t. They haven’t even done that with my illness—I’m HIV positive as well—and I very much appreciate that.
My advice, be aware of your addiction. It is a disease. Seek help. People do care. The first step is getting help and admitting you need help. You need to be encouraged. Surround yourself with people that will encourage you. Ask for help, and ask God for guidance, and He’ll help you. I am very grateful for Pathways because if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be here. I really believe I would be dead, so I am so grateful. Everyday I get up and thank God, ‘Thank you, Jesus, for this place!’”
Patricia is a patient at Pathways to Care, a medical facility managed by Catholic Charities of Central Florida that helps the homeless heal from serious illness or injury.