Story of Hope | Henri

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“I am making the changes to get the life I have dreamed of.”

Henri has seen more than anyone should in his relatively short 36 years. Born three months premature to a mother addicted to crack cocaine and codeine, he was one of nine children – 5 of which were given up to the state. His mother, father, grandmother, and several siblings have all spent time in prison mainly due to drug-related issues. By the time he was 20 years old, he had lost his older brother and mother to a drug overdose.

Given his rough beginning, it is no surprise that Henri fell into drugs, spent time in prison, and roamed the county looking for something to give his life meaning. He tried his hand at being an apprentice under a chef and enjoyed it, but before he was able to get established, his grandmother became ill, and had no one to care for her. Henri was on probation for a marijuana possession charge but was able to get permission to leave the state to help her. Because he stayed longer than had been approved, an arrest warrant was issued, and he spent two years in prison.

He returned to Colorado, got clean, and was admitted to a halfway house. He was behind in his rent and needed help to stay housed. That is when he found Catholic Charities Marian House. He began working with several case managers who provided rental assistance to maintain housing, employment guidance, and help with job search and moral support. Henri received help updating his resume and was given a list of employers who the staff knew were “felon-friendly” – many of whom had attended a job fair, especially for those previously incarcerated in October 2021.

This support opened new doors for Henri, who is now gainfully employed, putting funds into a savings account, has purchased a car, and secured an apartment. He even has a dog. He says, “It has not been easy, but I finally feel like I am making the changes to get the life I have dreamed of. I even got a better, higher-paying job. Life is good.”

At Catholic Charities, we respect everyone who comes to us for help. Many are working toward a fresh start in life. So while their stories are true, client names and images may have changed to protect their privacy.

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