Notable Success Stories
Ms. Carmela Amabile
Ms. Carmela Amabile is a post-Vietnam era Veteran who has experienced a lot of trauma in her life. Upon admission, she was distant and suffered from severe depression and anxiety. She would barely communicate with anyone and usually preferred to stay alone in her own area. During the course of her nine month stay, Ms. Amabile made observable interpersonal progress and towards the end she had made a complete turnaround. She became very sociable, sought out other residents to talk to, socialize with and confide in. Ms. Amabile was always in compliance with the program and worked steadily to complete the program in a very positive way. She faced many of her fears and boundary issues, attended to her medical and dental needs and established a support system and savings. Upon discharge, she had secured a stable release address. Ms. Amabile’s experience exemplifies how professional guidance and support can positively impact those who are dedicated to make changes necessary to better their lives.
Erica McNabney was at the Alvarez House in the reentry program from May to September 2013. While in the program, Ms. McNabney actively participated in her treatment sessions in the Community Treatment System. She also began to attend school at the Milan Institute and began on the process of regaining custody of her two children. Since she completed Crosspoint she has regained full custody of her children and she is now a hair dresser at Fantastic Sam’s. During her free time, Ms. McNabney uses her skills as a hair stylist to cut hair for free for members of Haven for Hope. Ms. McNabney has also gained employment at a clothing store and has recently been promoted to assistant manager. Instead of letting her past dictate her future, Ms. McNabney is a great example of someone who took the support and knowledge available at Crosspoint to build a brighter future.
Clarence Price entered the program on 01/31/11 and as with most residents he had many obstacles to overcome. In spite of these challenges he did exceptionally well in the RRC program at The Summit. He was always volunteering to do extra chores to ensure that critical areas of the facility were clean. While in the program, Mr. Price was very respectful towards his peers and staff. He originally began working for Sugarbaker’s and was let go due to the company going bankrupt. He didn’t allow this to derail him from his goal. Mr. Price remained optimistic and worked hard to procure new employment, which he did on 06/18/11 with Fuddruckers.
Mr. Price released from the program successfully on 07/27/11. He is currently on probation, which will end prior to the release of this newsletter. Mr. Price continues to work at Fuddruckers and has a great working relationship with both his employer and his probation officer. USPO Reynaldo Gutierrez stated that Mr. Price has excelled while under supervision.
Mr. Michael Alvarez entered the program on June 21, 2013, and did exceptionally well in both the residential and outpatient programs. While at Crosspoint, he volunteered to assist in a large-scale community volunteer project to help repair a home severely damaged by fire. He surprised many people on the project, including the project supervisor, with his construction skills. Mr. Alvarez is an excellent artist and is very imaginative and creative. While in the program he drew many pictures and displayed his talent for others. Mr. Alvarez was released to his home in August 2013 and successfully completed the program in October 2013. He resides with his wife and built an upstairs bedroom for them with an en-suite bathroom. He took pride in his work and updated his case manager on the progress. During his time at Crosspoint, Mr. Alvarez’ success was at least in part attributable to his very open communication pertaining to his programming.
Ms. Elizabeth Thomas discharged successfully from the Recovery Support Home (RSH) at Pryor on November 25, 2012. She was extremely committed to building a better life for herself during her time at RSH. During this period, Ms. Thomas actively participated in outpatient services at Alpha Home. She also was very engaged in Crosspoint’s community restoration projects. She was involved in graffiti clean-up at Robert E. Lee High School and was one of the hardest working members of a 12-person Crosspoint crew that assisted in the construction of a terrace at the Oblate School of Theology. Ms. Thomas left the RSH with a stable living situation, stable employment and a solid support system with her family. Subsequent to her departure, she organized the 1st AA meetings at the Pryor House facility, which she continues to attend weekly. Ms. Thomas has shared her story in public speaking events to promote recovery and is celebrating one year of sobriety.
Crosspoint graduate, Ms. Tabatha Ruby successfully discharged from the Pryor House RRC program on November 10, 2003. Since then she has maintained stable employment, gotten married and participated frequently in her children’s school activities. Tabatha also represented Alpha Home as their Alumni President from 2011-13 where she became actively involved in the re-covery community. This path allowed her to set an example for women at the Crosspoint’s new Recovery Support Home at Pryor. This December she cel-ebrates 5 years of sobriety. She credits her family, faith and her recovery as her driving force to continue to succeed in all areas of her life. We extend a special thank you to her as she continues to move forward and share her experiences regarding the challenges and triumphs associated with restoration and recovery.
"When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves." The above quote by Dr. Victor Frankl epitomizes Mr. Michael Faver's experience while in Crosspoint's residential reentry program. Mr. Faver was apprehensive about the program in its entirety, but ultimately altered his behavior and himself for the better. His positive mindset set the path for the life changing decisions that allowed him to overcome and conquer a major medical issue, secure employment, begin paying back his restitution and secure an apartment to call his home. Mr. Faver completed all of his program goals and successfully discharged in April.
"Show me someone who has done something worthwhile, and I will show you someone who has overcome adversity." This statement from former Notre Dame football coach Lou Holtz aptly describes the accomplishments of Mr. Hector Sepulveda, U.S. Army Veteran from the Viet Nam era. From the moment that he arrived at the Veterans Transitional Housing Program at Crosspoint, Mr. Sepulveda was determined to enhance his situation by utilizing all the program had to offer. He has surpassed his six-month mark of sobriety after struggling for years with addiction and criminal justice system involvement. Mr. Sepulveda has volunteered to work on community service projects, was a Veteran advocate and now sponsors his own AA group. Mr. Sepulveda was a very positive and motivating influence on his peers. He completed his programming here in July and returned to the community with a stable housing plan.
"This facility and neighborhood brings back bittersweet memories for me. I remember right over there by the railroad tracks is where I gave myself my first fix, it's been a ride ever since but now I'm clean, off paper, and trying to help others so they don't have to go through what I went through!" . This was the beginning conversation with Mr. Pedro Tenorio. At 76 he is still active. He enjoys life now more than he ever has. He spends his Thursdays at the State Parole Board recruiting offenders to attend the ACTS retreats and while talking to them shares his story to encourage them.
Mr. Tenorio has had a life of imprisonment and Substance Abuse for over 60 years. When I got to Crosspoint I was disruptive, disrespectful, you name it". "My TDAT counselor, Kristine Valdez took me out of the group meetings and dealt with me one-to-one. I had to come face-to-face with myself and I cried. From that time to now I have taken the all the good and all the bad from my life and made the changes that I needed to make. If it hadn't been for Crosspoint, I would still be in the revolving door and institutionalized. Crosspoint was a good place for me, and I am thankful for what they did for me"
As to his current activities, "My family calls me 'Billy Graham' he chuckles. They actually listen to what I have to say about life and living. I try to help those that are homeless or strung out by feeding them, helping them with clothes or getting physically clean. You see I've been there and somebody helped me." Mr. Tenorio is also an accomplished Pianist. "I am tone deaf and my hands shake all the time, but when I sit at the piano it all goes away. I love playing gospel music- it helps the soul".
Ms. Sylvia Colston is an example of the saying "you can't keep a good woman down". Ms. Colston arrived at Pryor House in 2008 with one primary goal; to get her two "special needs" children back. She used her Crosspoint experience to get all the help she could to better herself and prove that she deserved to get her sons back. She participated in our substance abuse treatment program, parenting classes, NA meetings and the weekly group sessions at Pryor. While in the program, Ms. Colston obtained employment at the Marriot and found a two-bedroom apartment. She released from Crosspoint after five months, went back to the CPS worker who had told her she would never get her kids back. The CPS worker was so impressed with all that Ms. Colston had accomplished that she agreed to guide her to the legal assistance needed to reinstate her parental rights. She was allowed to have visits with her oldest son, and succeeded in finding her youngest son who had been "lost" in the system. In 2010, with the help of her attorney and the CPS worker, Ms. Colston walked out of the Bexar County Courthouse with both of her boys. Today, the family remains together and they are doing well.
Mr. David Lopez has committed his life to walking by faith in everything he does, but it has not always been this way for him. In 1996, Mr. Lopez was faced with 20 years in prison. He prayed just to be out to see his son graduate from high school. Mr. Lopez received a 33 month sentence and was able to be there for his son. Mr. Lopez arrived at Crosspoint's Hall House facility in March 1998. He landed a job with a local business as a sales representative and successfully completed the program. Fourteen years later, Mr. Lopez is still with the same company, but now as the General Manager where he uses his position to help others get back on their feet. Mr. Lopez is very involved in prison ministry and returns to nearby institutions to show inmates that they too can turn their lives around. Mr. Lopez feels that his faith made his progress possible while Crosspoint's structure and assistance provided the opportunity for success.