Rickey Saunders is a soft-spoken man who has battled alcoholism for years. “Alcohol has always been a bad problem for me,” says Rickey, 55. “I was a black-out drinker; I would wake up places and not know where I was. I had a hard time quitting.”
An Arkansas native, he was living in Louisville when he became homeless a year ago. He went to Texas and found seasonal work picking oranges. Wandering from Corpus Christi to San Antonio, he slept in the streets or in homeless encampments, shelters and rescue missions.
In Austin, he was given a Greyhound bus ticket to come back to Louisville, eventually landing on the doorstep of St. Vincent dePaul’s Ozanam Inn men’s homeless shelter last July 2. He entered SVDP’s DR (Dormitory Residency) Program, which guaranteed him a bed every night, and gave him the support of SVDP’s case management services.