Stanley, Crystal and Roger

On May 24, 2007, BRC held an Alumni Network Awards Dinner to acknowledge the lasting successes of our alumni and award important milestones that they have reached since they left BRC's Horizons Vocational Services, Palace Employment Residence, and Lexington Avenue Women's Residence. Over 100 alumni joined us and over 30 were recognized for sustaining three months, six months or one year of independent housing or employment. Several alumni told their stories, showing the remarkable paths they took to overcome traumatic challenges, as well as their extraordinary effort to maintain the changes they made in their lives. This week we will share a few of the stories from the inspiring alumni event.

Stanley told the audience how years ago his addiction to crack cocaine put his life on a downward spiral: he lost his job, his wife to kicked him out of the house, separating him from his young son and teenage daughter, and he was arrested and sent to prison for selling drugs. After he was released he came to BRC's Palace and began working with Horizons in 2004. He got sober, got a job at Fresh Direct, and a found a place to live. Today, he has a promotion, is working fulltime at Fresh Direct and is reunited with his family. He is thrilled just to tuck his children in every night.

Being reconnected with family members also brings great joy to Crystal, who grew up with an alcoholic mother and was kicked out of school in the 11th grade. Throughout her life Crystal has struggled with her own drug addiction as well as homelessness, unemployment and keeping out of prison. Before she came to BRC, she managed to get sober, but it was not until she came to the Palace that she was able to find her own housing and complete job training. Last week she told us, to great applause, that she recently celebrated her 50th birthday, a feat of its own in her challenging life. Crystal is sober, lives on her own and lends support to her daughter, grandson and many BRC alumni.

Another former client, Roger, garners his strength and support from his incredible success in the working world. Like Stanley and Crystal, he also has conquered the addiction and habits that forced him into a cycle of homelessness and incarceration. When he came to BRC he began to attend Narcotic Anonymous meetings and worked closely with Horizons staff to get a job, and he soon landed a position. This job allowed him to move into his own room, and from there he began working as a receptionist at First-Care of New York. Roger is such a reliable employee that First-Care hired more BRC graduates and has since become an employer partner with BRC!

At BRC we know we are lucky to have such a strong network of successful alumni. We are proud of everything our clients accomplish at BRC, and even more proud of what they do when they leave. Do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to join us for our next Alumni Event.