As a child, Robert was sexually abused in his own home which caused him deep emotional trauma. Robert repressed most of these memories until he was in prison and realized that he needed treatment for his traumas in order to rebuild his life. Robert sought the treatment that he needed and wrote his book while in prison which helped him to not return to his old ways following his release.
Once out of prison, Robert found himself homeless with nowhere to go.
A month later he found Catholic Charities which he credits with saving his life. Catholic Charities, Diocese of Trenton offers mental health, social and crisis services to individuals and families, particularly those impacted by trauma and adversity.
Catholic Charities offered mental health support and services to help him get back on his feet and stop his substance use. He continues to receive counseling from Catholic Charities and is working to find permanent housing. Says Robert,“I would’ve been lost, they’ve been supporting and pushing me ever since.”
Robert urges his representatives to fund more programs for people coming home from prison. Without the support from programs like Catholic Charities, Robert believes that people will go back to doing what they were doing before they were incarcerated.
Robert explains, “Programs like these are for people who want them and need them. If people are trying to change their lives but have no help, they’re just going to go back to what they were doing before- it’s counterproductive.”
Robert says that he had to be very proactive about seeking help and believes that access to assistance should not be so difficult to obtain. He claims, “I’m more proactive, but not everyone’s like that. I was looking and I got lucky. But it was hard.”
If you are interested in hearing more about Robert’s story, you should attend the July 25th, a Congressional Reception will be held at the Dirksen Senate Auditorium in Washington D.C. This event will allow New Jersey residents who are working poor, below the poverty line and or impacted by homelessness to urge their elected officials in Washington to make No Cuts to Housing and remind them that Opportunity Starts at Home.
We know that by joining together and amplifying our voices, we can have an impact on the decisions that are made in Washington DC. Join Monarch Housing Associates and our 35 partners from New Jersey to make the case that homelessness is a solvable problem. The federal government must be a full partner in ensuring an adequate breadth of services are available to prevent children, people with disabilities, the elderly, and all of our neighbors in NJ from experiencing the homelessness.
Register today to attend the Congressional Reception. Everyone needs to register even if you are traveling on your own.