His struggles in life left Al homeless and until he met Katie from HABCORE, he was without direction.
Al was born and raised in a grueling section of Newark, NJ. As a young boy and the eldest of four children, Al helped his mother raise his siblings. Al’s childhood was difficult and he was challenged to stay focused while living in the problematic community. Al fought his way through and graduated from High School. Al said, “I knew I had to get out of ‘Pit from Hell’ town to survive”.
Al chose to better himself and joined the US Army. He desired structure and wanted to represent his country. It wasn’t long after he entered the service that his mother became gravely ill and Al had to return home. When Al’s mother passed away, Al was once again left to raise his siblings. While caring for his family, Al put himself through college and attended Rutgers University. Al received a B.A. in Education.
After graduating from Rutgers University, Al began his 16-year career in the Newark Public Schools as a High School teacher. Al excelled as an American History teacher and enjoyed working with the students. Unfortunately, the damaging lifestyle in the area where Al lived took hold of him, and Al took to drugs. The abuse of drugs and the negative lifestyle sadly overwhelmed Al’s life and he was asked to leave his wonderful job.
After over a year of being homeless, Al’s health was compromised and he realized that if he didn’t stop drugs he would die. “Drugs took everything in my life: my job, my health, my home; but it didn’t take my life.” In 2017 Al attended a vendor event through the Veterans Service Program and it was there that he met Katie Lord. “If it wasn’t for Katie, I don’t think I’d be here today.”
“I am exhilarated… over the moon. To have overcome such struggles and now live with dignity and stability… I now have hope for my life and future. I am forever grateful for HABCORE.”