Gary first came to CommUnity after finding himself stranded in a new city. With no transportation and all of his family 200 miles away in another state, he didn’t know where to go for help. That’s when an acquaintance suggested that he should come to CommUnity, and offered to give him a ride.
“I came here and they helped me obtain my birth certificate, which led into getting my driver’s license, which led into getting a car, which led into me now, getting a job, which leads back to me coming here to get boots for that job,” explained Gary.
Although Gary had never needed services like this before, he said that desperation led him to seek assistance. Since receiving his birth certificate and driver’s license, Gary has been offered two jobs – one in construction and another as a cook.
Before reaching out to CommUnity, Gary struggled to adjust to a new and unfamiliar environment. He had no support system or resources and felt isolated and alone.
“I was depressed, super depressed and just bummed out completely. I didn’t know what to do or how to do it, and I didn’t even know how to get out of this town if I needed. I couldn’t call my people, I didn’t have a phone, a car, a birth certificate, I didn’t even have an I.D.,” said Gary.
However, after coming to CommUnity, things started to look up for Gary.
“I met this young man who brought me here and it’s been progress since then. I’m uplifted, I’m happy, I’m joyous. I’m just ready to live now.”
Now that Gary is getting back on his feet, he’s been outspoken about the importance of reaching out and utilizing resources like CommUnity.
“Not reaching out means that you’re really hurting yourself and the people around you, because you’re not getting the joy that you need to pass on to everybody else. See, because, when I didn’t reach out, just sat back and simmered in my turmoil and depression, I didn’t get anything from that. But [things started looking up] the moment that I started reaching out.”
Gary said that on his first visit to CommUnity, he was hesitant to use the food bank because he was already receiving help with identification. He didn’t want to ask for too much. But by the time he came back to get boots for work, he realized that using the services available to him could only help his situation.
“What I would tell anybody that was in my situation, and is depressed, go over there and talk to these people because they have all types of programs to help you, including dealing with your depression…I would tell people to yes, definitely reach out. And if you can, volunteer, which is my next step, volunteering.”
Gary concluded, “I would just like to say, I love this place. I’m so thankful.”