Charlie: The Wanderer

Charlie, a 60 year old male, was born in Wellsville NY. His father left his mother who subsequently was admitted into a psychiatric facility. These events significantly impacted Charlie and the course his life took.

After his parents separated and his mother was institutionalized, Charlie was put into the foster care system. He lived with five different foster families until the age of 17 when he joined the army.  While in the army, he completed basic training at Ft Dix NJ, additional training at Ft Polk, LA and was then sent to serve in Berlin, Germany.

After his discharge, he came back to NY and lived in Rochester where he worked many different blue collar jobs. He did not have family support and found solace in the companionship of alcohol and various relationships. Charlie was becoming very unstable and, after several failed relationships, he moved to the Tri-City area where he became homeless and addicted to drugs and alcohol, he was 38 years old. He moved between counties finding refuge in abandon buildings and parks.  Charlie began accessing basic living needs services at Bethesda House when he was 45 years old; however, he remained hesitant to work with our housing case manager.

In 2010, when the new construction for Bethesda House was near completion, our Case Managers met with Charlie.  He had finally gotten tired of being homeless and wanted help and housing. Charlie was admitted into our permanent supportive housing program where he lived in a safe environment while he fought the demons of his drug addiction. When asked, “What are your plans for the future?”  Charlie replied,” I am very grateful and comfortable here at Bethesda House. Someday I would like to move out into the community, into my own apartment.”  

Charlie was well liked by other residents and staff. He was always willing to lend a hand and tell a good story. His walk towards sobriety was not always smooth; however, he overcame many obstacles that seemed to crowd his path. Charlie remained a treasured soul until he passed away in June 2015.  He is greatly missed.