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Dewayne’s Story

I wake up at three. I leave my house maybe five minutes to five or something like that. And I’ll be on this corner by five after five. And then I wait there until someone comes and opens the door to the Dining Room. Then I go down there and set up the volunteer kitchen. 

It’s been like that since I started here. Me getting here early, being accountable if needed — it helps me. It keeps me focused. It’s given me something to do in life where I can be independent upon myself. I pay my rent, I have my own key to the door of my own house. I don’t have to do no shelters. I don’t have to sleep on the sidewalk, or none of this — which is what I was doing beforehand. 

I’m trying to change from my old ways. I was out there in the streets running wild. And I just told myself, I got to wake up. I got to get my life right.  

I look at it this way: I strayed away from the real life by getting so deeply involved in the drug world. I backed up out of it with the help of the Father Alfred Center and me working and volunteering here at St. Anthony’s.  

Everybody here is very positive. There are a lot of people who have come from recovery programs, some people who come from the street, some who come from institutions. All of us are trying to do better. All of us have really tried to stay forward and do what’s got to be done to live that good life. 

If we have the same days off, we’ll get together. Last week, we went to Great America. I’ve been in San Francisco since 1989 and I never went nowhere the whole time until now. I was too deep into that street life.  

It was very sweet. It was five of us that went. The thing that really got to me is the spectacular rides. I’m 65. I said, I have not been on no rides in at least 40 years. Nowadays they do all this spinning around and going down — oh my lord, it was off the hook! The last time I was on a ride, we didn’t have them that crazy. 

We had a very good time. We’re like a big family here and that’s the way I would keep it. 

Dewayne currently works in the St. Anthony’s Dining Room. 

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