So many people know The Thomas Merton Center for its “soup kitchen” and food pantry; places to go to when you are hungry. However, for some, the Merton Center is also a place of healing and support.
Ruben is one of those people. Ruben was down on his luck. He was trying to get clean and deal with anger issues. For support, he started coming to the Merton Center to attend Spirituality and Men’s groups. Ruben enjoyed the groups regularly and said through them he was “learning how to live.” Still, Ruben ended up homeless. However, while living in a local shelter, he was able to connect with Catholic Charities’ Housing Department, which helped him find an apartment. He lives in that apartment today, and still attends the Merton Center for meals and the support groups.
Ruben credits the Merton groups for helping him to learn to love and respect people. As a result, he now enjoys an increased respect that he receives from his family. He has been clean for two years, and has credited the Merton Center as a support in his recovery, saying, “There is so much positive here that people need to find out (about). Ruben is a great Catholic Charities success story who now looks to positively impact his fellow brothers and sisters in the support groups. “I feel I have a lot of responsibility in how they look up to me,” he says.