Luis’ family immigrated from Mexico City to America in search of economic prosperity.
In 1978, they moved to Williamsburg, Brooklyn—a very different neighborhood than it is today. “It was a rough part of town back then,” Luis remembers. “There was a lot of racism and we spoke Spanish, so I was a target and was involved in a lot of fights.”
Struggling to fit in, Luis started drinking as a teenager and dropped out of school. He got married, had a daughter, and worked a variety of jobs. But throughout his adult life, alcohol addiction continued to limit his success and even led to two arrests.
He tried several rehab programs, but he never thought he would find one that could help him establish long-term sobriety—until he came to Project Renewal’s Recovery Center, an outpatient clinic for people struggling with substance use disorder.
“Project Renewal’s program is really working,” says Luis, who has been in the Recovery Center for four months. “They get to know you and they really care.”
Our staff has diagnosed Luis with anxiety and depression and is providing him with medication and counselling, in both one-on-one and group settings.
Now, he’s optimistic for the future. “I want to get my GED and become a real estate agent,” he says. “I can focus on those goals, now that I’m taking care of my health.”
Immigrants with mental health and substance use issues are far less likely to get treatment than people born in the U.S. who have the same issues. Unfortunately, due to hateful rhetoric and harmful policy proposals, immigrants are increasingly afraid of accessing services. To support the Recovery Center and other Project Renewal programs that help vulnerable immigrants, click HERE.