“I’m sick of looking back, I want to look forward. I want to leave a positive legacy and let people know not to give up, never to surrender.”

At age 14, Jack left an abusive home and dropped out of school. He became emancipated so he could get an apartment and a job. He married young, and had three children. Jack held labor and construction jobs. Although it was always a struggle to make ends meet, things were going fairly well until eight years ago when his wife had an accident. She was heavily medicated and became addicted to opiates. Things changed in their relationship.

Jack fought to hold his family together, but sadly, his 25-year marriage ended 9 months ago. He found himself living with a friend, without a source of income, and without much hope for the future. After a few months, he found his way to MSC and help and hope through MSC’s employment and education programs.

Jack first entered the THRIVE program and found a temporary full-time job. When that job ended, he came back to MSC and entered our new RISE Program which offers case management services in addition to employment assistance.

“I was thankful for the MSC case managers. They pointed me in the right direction when I couldn’t do it on my own because I was caught in the moment,” says Jack. “I had forgotten some of those things about who I was as a person. I was given hope to go somewhere beyond dismay and despair.”

Jack hopes to eventually go to school and become a counselor. He’s working on getting his GED with MSC and passed his first test so he can reach his goals for the future. He’s also sought out therapy to help him deal with the hardships he’s faced in the past. He sees his kids, now 20, 18, and 12 years of age, every week. “I’ve built up my confidence now. I used to be shy and timid, now I can talk to strangers,” Jack shares.