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October 29, 2013


October 29, 2013

I came to Clearwater in October 1997 dying from complications of a lung tumor with only three months to live! So, I had been told by a doctor a month earlier. I was sober, but living in my car at the Seminole Marina. I was referred to HEP by a friend and accepted. Wow! Danna Slaughter was my conselor who showed me how to Help Myself! Watching Dana and Pat work cleaning these apartments astonished me. They seemed tireless and always in good cheer. So Godly, both of them.
Otis always had time to say hello. Barbara was a no nonsense person who I came to dearly love.
Within two weeks I had medical care, and a primary physician! Doctor Johnston fitted me with new dentures...after he removed what was left in my mouth! Gulf Coast Legal Services obtained my SSI for me - thank you Pamela Wiener!
One of my best memories is the Christmas Party on the old and beautuful Gazebo where Jim played Santa and gave out presents to over two hundred people including many, many children!
So many fond memories of HEP! I was fortunate to live in three of their transitional houses. Two of which I had my own private room. Finally after 7 1/2 years I moved on to a wonderfu place called Creekside Manor I. Looking back on the past 16 years I can say that I've learned to live within my means and get closer to God almighty.
I stop by and visit the Thrift shop once a month now, always hoping to catch a glimpse of some staff person I had known over the years. In essence: HEP is the best thing that's ever happened to me...and I am healthier than I've been in thirty years! 75 next month and 23 years sober!!!... Ron Smokey Townson

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Invite former residents back for a reunion every now and then. Some of us are still around!

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Serve lunch or dinner, work at our Thrift Store, tutor a child, mentor a veteran, assist the marketing team - or more! Volunteer