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Meet Rodney

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“A few years ago I made some very poor decisions that caused harm to some good and loving people. These decisions were illegal in nature and as a result I served time in some of Minnesota’s finest prisons, where I did a lot of thinking and some treatment along the way. I have since then learned about myself and how to make wiser and better informed decisions about how I act or really get to act in society and in this community. Prior to going to prison, I served 4 years in the military and was honorably discharged. So it is via these experiences which brought me to the state of being homeless, which was a consequence of the latter experience. I have found myself in the good graces of the Dorothy Day House on the merit I earned being a veteran of the U.S. military.

Being a homeless veteran I have found a few advantages, one huge one was finding this place [Dorothy Day]. I had a roof over my head and a place to rest my head, so I was not a burden to the community. The Dorothy Day House helped me to work on my goals for my well being and ways to get back on my feet. They also gave me a sense of purpose there by giving us [Guests] chores to do, perhaps a way for us to give back for the wealth of care that the Dorothy Day House gives freely. I have taken the pride and charity that these fine people have given me and I have tried to return it to the fullest of my ability by helping out with snow shoveling or ice removal. I have found that if I take more pride in myself and my surroundings my life is more fulfilling.”

Rodney was able to successfully find and secure housing, which he has kept to this day. He continues to strive toward bettering his life situations, and sometimes stops in to Dorothy Day to update us on how he is doing. Below is the day Rodney received the keys for his (then) new apartment.

“I had a roof over my head and a place to rest my head, so I was not a burden to the community.”

Meet Cliff

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“I showed up one day at Dorothy Day in the middle of winter with no place to go and nothing but the shirt on my back. While living here, I had a medical situation, which Dorothy Day House was understanding about, and they worked with me on my goals, which were to get better mentally and physically. When I got here I was barely walking and used a cane. Now I have no cane and bike and my health is getting a lot better.

Dorothy Day House helped me find a place to stay. I broke a record here, it took a little over a year. Now my life is pretty stable and I have a place of my own. The biggest impact the program had on me was helping me get my life back on track, working with me, and being very patient. I had never been in another shelter here before, but people came here and talked. They say there’s no comparison as far as structure. It’s a no drugs or alcohol, family oriented atmosphere.

“A last change for me was getting me back to a part of my life I didn’t have. They helped me get back with my family and helped keep me away from drugs and alcohol. I was never a religious person before, now I go to church and use different [community] things to help me succeed. This has impacted my future.”

Before coming to the Dorothy Day House he had been homeless many times throughout his 66 years of life. Now he has successfully been in his own apartment for over 6 months! Cliff now volunteers in the community several times a week and stops by the shelter to keep in touch with us. Below is a picture of Cliff during his shopping trip before moving into his own new place!

“They helped me get back with my family and helped keep me away from drugs and alcohol.”