Fourth Street Taught Me How to Love and Take Care of Myself
After being surrounded by dysfunctional people who abused him, Dennis decided that he did not want to be treated like that anymore, and ran away. Leaving behind everything but his pension, Dennis became homeless. His situation worsened when he caught a nasty cold in the shelter where he was staying. Luckily for him, he found the Fourth Street Clinic.
The clinic helped him with his severe cold and even his teeth. One of the questions Dennis asked of them was, “Why are you doing this?” They replied, “We want to get you out there, to start your life again and to feel good about yourself.”
At first, Dennis just let it go, but eventually his relationship with the clinic continued to grow. Before Dennis found the clinic, he was depressed all the time — tired throughout the day, but not able to sleep. “If it weren’t for these guys, I’d be out there right now, probably feeling sorry for myself as a dysfunctional person, and not getting help,” he said. “They’ve taught me how to love myself, how to take care of myself.”
Intrigued by the classes offered at the clinic, and suffering from a cigarette addiction from the age of nine, Dennis started attending weekly smoking cessation support groups. Now at the age of 69, he has not had a cigarette in over 2 months, and does not even feel like reaching for another. Dennis attributes it to the wonderful people at the clinic, saying, “They gave me a second chance.” One day, Dennis brought his friend along to one of the classes, sharing what had made such a deep impact in his life.
Recently, Dennis made a deposit on a mobile home that he’s going to buy, and he also bought a truck and a small lot of land. He works as a care worker, which he says is really nice, and has plans to finally get braces so he can smile again.
At the heart of our community are people like Dennis and organizations like Fourth Street Clinic. The clinic offers a wide range of services, including a full range of health, mental health, and dental care, case management, a pharmacy and substance abuse support.