No Longer Homeless: Ralph's Return Visit

Ralph, feeling much better, on a return visit to Rosa's

Earlier this summer, we shared with you the story of one of our homeless visitors named Ralph, who regularly came in for pizza made possible by the kindness of others. We did our best to tell his story but we also wanted to respect Ralph’s privacy.

What we didn’t share was that Ralph was struggling with addiction.

We hadn’t seen him for several months until he returned to Rosa’s in early October and bought a couple slices.

“I feel better,” he said.

In the throes of addiction, Ralph weighed 126 pounds when he got off the streets.

“They came to me on a Tuesday. Ironically the woman that came to me is the woman that started this whole [recovery] program. She was like, ‘I can get you into this program.’ And I was like, ‘yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.’ That was on a Tuesday. I woke up Friday morning and I was like, ‘you know what, I’m done. I’m done.’”

What finally convinced him to come inside and confront his demons? “I just got sick of it. I got sick of the life.”

Ralph says every time he’s in the area he wants to stop in and update us on his progress. At this point, Ralph has been clean for 6 months. “It’s the longest period I’ve had in two years…I just turned fifty.”

Now Ralph stays up in North Philly. It’s not a beautiful place, but it’s right in front of the park.

What will Ralph do next? He’s not sure, but he absolutely wants to continue down the path he’s on. Maybe, he’ll go back to school for counseling. “The idea is to go back, part-time, kind of ease myself back into it, and start looking for work.”

He said he’ll do his best and take it one day at a time.

That’s all any of us can do.

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Mason Wartman

Rosa's Fresh Pizza, 25 South 11th Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19107