Paying it forward

January 8, 2018

“St. Patrick Center helped me build my self-esteem and gain courage to face my challenges.”

Delnita had her first drink at eight years old. A child of alcoholics, she continued drinking during her youth and adult life. “Alcoholism ran in my family and played a big role in my homelessness.” Over the years, she also survived abuse.

When Delnita’s apartment building was sold and the offers to “couch surf” ran out, she entered a 21-day emergency shelter. From there, she entered a two-year transitional housing program. “My case manager told me about St. Patrick Center and I was initially afraid and ashamed to visit.” Delnita joined our Shamrock Club day treatment program and got a job washing clothes. “The staff welcomed me and helped me build my character.” She also became the first female lead of our BEST employment program. Following that assignment, case managers helped her get a cleaning job at a downtown hotel.

While Delnita’s life was getting back on track, her health was not. She went into kidney failure and strived to make ends meet while completing dialysis three days a week. “By the grace of God, I received a kidney transplant after two years on a waiting list and returned to full health!”

Today, Delnita is a member of the St. Patrick Center team. She’s a receptionist in our Client Welcome Center and paying it forward. “I learned a lot in recovery – acceptance, forgiveness and gratefulness – all traits I can apply to my life and my work with others.”

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