Meet Anthony

Pathways to Housing PA
anthony smiling at the camera during his interview


Anthony has been a Pathways participant since October 2018. His first apartment was in Kensington, near where he spent a lot of time when he was experiencing homelessness. Anthony has sat down to speak with us a few times, including in April 2022 and most recently in February 2024. Check out a snippet of his interview from February here and learn more about Anthony’s story below.

During his first interview with us, Anthony told us, “I've been using drugs for a really long time, since I was a teenager.” That first apartment in Kensington was convenient for him to continue using. He had tried programs in the past and had gone on a methadone maintenance plan, but he says he hadn’t really had more than little bits of sobriety here and there. Nothing substantial. 

When Anthony moved into that apartment, he was working with a clinic to access Suboxone, a type of medication for opioid use disorder (MOUD), in Kensington. He eventually began receiving services at our onsite Integrated Care Clinic instead and entered a rehab program in September 2020.  

Upon completing rehab, Anthony asked to move to Northeast Philadelphia rather than return to his apartment in Kensington. He wanted to get away from his old neighborhood and the triggers that came along with it. He told us proudly “I haven’t used drugs since September 29, 2020.”   

In addition to MOUD, Anthony also started taking medication for a mental health disorder. He says “I come here [to Pathways] every month to get my shot, and I see doctor Oberg for my medication for my bipolar and PTSD. I haven't had really no cravings, every now and then like I might get a little bit of craving or being so far away from you know, incentive in Frankford, has really helped me stay plugged in with my program.” 

The other thing keeping Anthony plugged in? His dog. He talked about Mia during both interviews. Anthony adopted Mia from the ACCT shelter when he moved into his new apartment; she’s a 10-year-old pit bull. Pathways supported him in getting Mia registered as an emotional support dog, and he takes her for several walks every day. Anthony likes getting up and heading out for the first walk as the sun is rising. He told us “I really enjoyed taking care of her, it gives me like a purpose. When I adopted the dog, I said that I'm not going to die, I'm never going to go through that again, so part of me staying clean has been able to keep my dog. I know that if I get high or use, I always end up addicted to the hardest drugs again. Part of me staying clean is being able to keep my dog [with] me, you know, and being able to keep the dog is staying clean. I know that, you know, as long as I stay clean that I won't ever have to give her up, I won't have to worry about her back to the shelter. Like, She's an older dog. People don't really adopt older dogs. So, I like to believe that I saved their life.” 

Since joining Pathways, Anthony has been able to address medical and dental issues. He’s gotten connected to a MOUD program that works for him. He got his driver’s license reinstated. He stopped selling his food stamps and started using them to go grocery shopping for himself, alongside his Pathways team. “Everything has worked out, I don't I don't always stress about stuff because things just seem to come together for me when I'm staying clean. Like, you know, life's not perfect, but for me, it's great. I got no complaints at all. I'm absolutely happy, you know, enjoying my life.” 

When we asked how he felt about Pathways, Anthony shared the following:  
“I'm so grateful for Pathways, I thank God for this program. I think Pathways is a great program, you know, if other people around the country could see what they have, how this program saves lives. They meet you where you're at. I feel like I get more respect now. And I feel like, you know, they're there. They're always willing to help me. Anything I need. A lot of homeless people, we were in and out of emergency rooms and stuff like that, which cost taxpayers a lot of money. So [Pathways] figured out that by providing someone with no requirement, meeting them where they're at, and giving them a chance, giving them nice things might make them change their mind about using drugs and living like that. I just think it's a good thing. 

I don't think I would ever been clean without this program. I'm not a burden on the system. I'm not outside. I'm not a burden on police. I haven't been locked up. I finished my probation in 2020. I don't cause any problems in my neighborhood. I walk my dog and then I'm in my apartment and I don't have people in and out of my apartment.  

I just think that Pathways is, you know, the best program. There's other programs like it but none do exactly what these people do for me. They all know my name, they treat me with respect. And I show them respect in return. I just think this is the best thing that's ever happened to me. I wish I was never addicted to drugs, I can't change that though. All I can do is focus on now and my future. I hope to start working again so that I can, you know, be a taxpayer and positive influence on society.” 

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