Archive for March, 2017
The Rescue Mission family mourns the recent passing of our good friend, Silvio Di Loreto. In the mid 80’s, we were a 20-year-old organization that had outgrown its first two rented homes and was in need of a permanent facility. The search for the right location became challenging and reached an impasse until Silvio, owner of Sunset Realty, proposed that the City make a lot on Yanonali Street and facilitated the purchase transaction that gave us the home we’ve been in since.
I wonder whether Silvio and those involved actually envisioned what a special place they had a hand in creating. In the last 30 years, we have provided 3 million meals and 1.7 million nights of shelter for people who would otherwise have gone without. In recent years, over 700 people have found hope in the struggle against addiction by graduating from our treatment program.
For his instrumental role in providing our community with such a place of hope and recovery, we were pleased to rightly honor Silvio with the Leni Fe Bland Award at our annual Bayou benefit this past fall. We continue to be grateful to him and extend our deepest condolences to his friends and family.
I don’t think he ever really had a chance for a normal life— someplace safe, with someone to love or care for him. You might not either if your mom became an addict after years of child abuse. She had his older sister when she was just 13, and Steven when she was 15. Steven recalls, “CPS came out and took us away. Split us up. It was hard.” Then, after bouncing around in foster care, he was finally rescued by his grandparents—only to have the bottom drop out of his life once again.
“My grandpa was my best friend. He was like my dad. Then he died of cancer. Two weeks later I got a call from the sheriff, saying my mom was found dead in a homeless shelter. I started drinking heavily, and went off the deep end—right over the edge.” After years of homelessness and time in jail, with no one else to come to his aid, Steven turned first to our emergency shelter, and later entered our 12-month Christian recovery program.
Steven says, “I don’t know what I’d do without this place. I’m blessed to be here. And I’m taking every opportunity to do everything I can here. I love this place!” he smiles. “I plan on staying on the straight and narrow and getting to where I should be,” he says. “Taking care of myself, making a living—and giving back in any way I can!”