Colin – LOFT Community Services

Colin - Wilkinson Supportive Housing LOFTWhen I asked Colin what difference Wilkinson Housing and Support Services makes to him, he didn’t hesitate for a moment. “It makes a huge difference because I have support. I was an only child and I relied on my parents, too much, I guess. My father was my best friend and we did everything together. I had a good job that I loved, working with a company that sold sports memorabilia. I was married and my wife’s extended family was very important to me. Her sister had three kids, the youngest was our ring bearer when we got married. He asked me during the ceremony, ‘when can I start calling you Uncle Colin?’

When my parents passed away things started going wrong for me. I lost my job and my wife left me. The hardest part was losing those kids – I sure do miss them. A roommate moved into my townhouse but when he beat me up I fled to a shelter. When they found out I owned a home, I got kicked out of the shelter. I stopped going to my Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and started drinking again. I was feeling so much stress because I was all alone in the world. I had a stroke and was admitted to St. Joseph’s Hospital detox unit for six months. Now I have short-term memory loss but I remember everything about growing up with my parents and how much I loved them.”

Colin says that there is nothing that will ever replace the loss of his family but he admits that he is happy to be where he is. He’s made friends and he likes to help others. Marco Villa, Program Director at Wilkinson Housing and Support Services, told me that all of the other residents look up to him: “Colin has a lot to give.”