Addicted to money, clothing, women and cars, Ricardo was in and out of jail for dealing drugs when he realized he needed to turn his life around. “I surrendered my life to Jesus,” explains Ricardo. “At TLC, I learned how to be more responsible with my daughter. For the first time in my life, I decided to accept help.”
Ricardo was assigned to work with Diane, one of Tabor’s former Rapid Re-housing Case Managers [currently now, the Mental Health Housing/PATH Programs Case Manager], to help Ricardo find permanent housing for himself and his daughter. Diane opened Ricardo’s case September 30 and on November 3, Ricardo and his daughter moved into a 2 bedroom apartment that fit within Ricardo’s very limited budget.
Ricardo had jobs in construction, but increasingly severe pain in his back left him too disabled to continue. “I was blinded because of the greed of money. When you don’t have the ability to continue working or do the work I used to do.”
He now receives disability. “For the first time in my life I’m living off my income,” he says, “learning how to manage the income that I have. My daughter is 5 years old. I’ve had her since she was one.
“If I wasn’t working with Diane, I wouldn’t be here. I was able to get caught up on all my bills and fines.
“I’m clean today. I can’t say enough about Diane ... about how she has helped. She listened to me. I could share problems with her. Diane is a tremendous, beautiful person. Not too many people want to sit here and listen to problems.
“I called my old boss to see if I could just get a few small jobs. He said he’d give me a job if I’d get him pain pills. I was tempted, but I couldn’t do it. God has freed me from the temptations of the world because of Tabor and TLC. They helped me realize that I can live on my disability. I take care of my daughter … take her to school, cook dinner, pick her up from school … and that’s my life.”
Ricardo attends the Spanish Church on Queen Street and has started a Bible Study in his home once a week. “God has and continues to fulfill the promise he makes in Philippians 4:19.” (And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.)
“I’ve been able to apologize to a lot of people, even my children [Ricardo has an older son]. A lot of healing has come out of this. Today I am a parent who loves, supports and helps.”
Ricardo’s advice to someone in his position is to “Surrender, forgive, be humble and accept help. If they accept the help, and listen, and sit down and come up with a plan, they can change. I pray for everyone. I want true blessings to come to Tabor, because I know what they do.”
Diane, Ricardo’s Case Manager, reports, “I started working with Ricardo in September. He lives with his 5 year old daughter, so he needed a separate bedroom for her. He was
also on disability so his income is very limited. He hurt his back and has been walking with a cane. He has tried to take paint jobs to earn extra money, but it really messes him up.
“To find an apartment, I send emails to Tabor’s partnering landlords and search publications that list apartments. The one I found was from a landlord who had not worked with Tabor before. When I called him and explained how Tabor’s program works and Ricardo’s situation, he was willing to reduce his price to accommodate Ricardo. The apartment was inspected October 31 and we signed the lease November 2.
“Since moving in, Ricardo was accepted into shelter plus care, or section 8, which means he is getting some help to pay his rent.
“Ricardo has been great to work with … very cooperative. I admire him for where he’s been and how he has turned his life around. He is very positive and grateful and wants to give back.”