Why I’m Thankful

Nov 17, 2021

Here’s why three Broadway House residents are giving thanks this holiday season.

“I am so grateful to be here at Broadway House, clean and in recovery. I’m beginning to see the old Robert again.”

As a young man, Robert Bright turned to drugs and alcohol to escape an abusive childhood. For years, he tried to save himself from the vicious cycle of homelessness and substance abuse. When uncontrolled HIV and addiction threatened Robert’s health, a friend persuaded him to seek help at University Hospital. There, a doctor referred him to Broadway House for Continuing Care. Robert says:

“When you relapse, it’s like being a fly in a spider web. If you get caught in the web, it’s hard to get out.  This time, I fought really hard to get out. I guess I was sick and tired of being sick and tired, and knew that I needed to fix myself inside and out. When I arrived at Broadway House I was scared and ashamed that I had relapsed. But right from the beginning, the staff welcomed me with open arms. Their love and concern makes me feel real good.

“My goal is to stay focused on continuing my journey of recovery. I’ll be here for a while, but eventually I want to get my own place. I need the structure that Broadway House provides. I want and need this to be on my own—my life on my terms. It was the will of God who sent the angel who convinced me to go to University Hospital and Broadway House.”

“Broadway House really saved my life. I thank God… and I thank Broadway House.”

This holiday season, Tracey Phillips is dreaming of a place she can finally call home. The Newark resident was in a tumultuous long-term relationship that left her homeless and addicted to drugs and alcohol. It took a broken knee to finally turn the tide for Tracey. After undergoing surgery at University Hospital, she came to Broadway House two years ago to heal her knee and her spirit:

“When I came to Broadway House, I was in a wheelchair and on methadone. It took months and months to finally get out of the wheelchair and start walking with the help of a walker. Thanks to Broadway House, I’ve kicked methadone and my substance abuse, diabetes, and high blood pressure are under control. If it weren’t for Broadway House, I don’t know where I’d be.

“Now, the social services staff here are helping me to get Social Security so I can find a permanent place to live. No shelters for me—I want a real place to call home. Right now, I pass the time hooking rugs, but I’d like to find a women’s program to help me take up a trade and learn some skills. My health is good, and that makes my mother so happy. Her prayers were answered.”

I’ve made great strides at Broadway House and I’m grateful for my improvement, both physically and mentally.”

This holiday season, Doreen Dewoolf is feeling the love that surrounds her at Broadway House. Sadly, it wasn’t always this way for Doreen. Several years ago, she left Newark for South Jersey to live with a troubled family member. When the situation didn’t work out, Doreen found herself homeless, addicted to drugs, and depressed that she had relapsed. Her son made the phone call that eventually led her to Broadway House—and saved her life:

“One day, I went for a walk on a highway and called my son. He called the cops because he was worried that I would kill myself. When the police came, they stopped me from getting hit by a car and sent me to the hospital to be treated for depression. Then, I came to Broadway House. I’m so grateful to be here. Initially, everyone was strict with me—I needed structure. It has taken me a while to change, but now I can see a vision for my future: I want to explore the world. I want to get my driver’s license. I want to go back to school.

“I really appreciate the warmth and love that the Broadway House staff shows, especially during the holidays. From the Thanksgiving meal they provide, to showering us with presents at Christmas, they make it feel like we’re celebrating holidays with family. My mom passed two years ago, so that’s important to me. Most of all, I want the best for myself—and I know Broadway House won’t give up on me.”