Francis, now 62, began abusing alcohol at age 13 and opiods at age 17. At the age of ten, he joined in on a competitive track event happening at his local park. He ended up winning four blue medal ribbons for speed. This began a lifelong love of running.
After 4 years on his high school track team Francis won a college scholarship to run as part of Montclair State College's track team. As one of six kids, this was a tremendous accomplishment. Unfortunately, his struggle with addiction lead to the loss of that scholarship.
But today, Francis is sober, lives with his wife in public housing, and has started his own small business. Through the LES Track Club, Francis coaches people to run short and long distance races. In fact, several of his clients just completed a marathon. He recently won first place at the prestigious Penn Relays in the 4x400 (1 mile) relay. And his team was the only New York area club, school or organization to win a Penn Relay title.
Francis first came to BRC in the summer of 2015, and has since been dedicated to continuing on his path to sobriety and working with the staff at BRC. He continues to come to BRC three times a week to meet with his psychiatrist and counselor, and attend group sessions.
Of his future, he said that, “my goal is stay engaged. If I start using drugs again everything else is off. It is a day at a time for me. To be honest, I am not sure if it is my age but I want to give back to the Lower East Side, which is my community. In 1971 I was arrested for the first time down there. I want to establish my LES Track Club to help others. I want to continue running, stay clean and sober and give something back."