“I decided to stop looking at St. Patrick Center from the outside, and decided to go inside and see what they had to offer me.”
Charlene Washington had reached a breaking point in her life. She was an alcoholic, a drug addict and a prostitute. She lived in vacant buildings, ate out of trash cans and tried to end her life several times. But the last time she was released from prison, Charlene decided she wasn’t going back to that life.
Charlene asked God for help and went to St. Patrick Center. She participated in the BEST job training program and graduated from the JET job training program. Charlene says St. Patrick Center gave her a second chance, even though she felt like she didn’t deserve it.
Today, Charlene is clean and sober with a full-time job at New World Pasta, a permanent address and a car. She enjoys her church, her children are back in her life and she’s going to be a Grandma. “Sometimes I cry, not because I’m unhappy, but because everything has happened so fast.”
Charlene is grateful for St. Patrick Center and stays in touch through the Alumni Club: “I have to come back every now and then and visit because I can’t forget where I came from.”