Patient Stories

Addicted and homeless, Howard hit rock bottom

Then he discovered MAP Centre for Urban Health Solutions, and turned his life around. Now he helps others regain theirs.

After a seemingly successful life as a husband, father and businessman, Howard’s concurrent addictions resurfaced at the age of 54. Chasing the high that crack cocaine offered him, he became alienated from his wife and kids and cycled through rehab programs and countless homeless shelters. He felt as if he had lost everything.

Howard got used to the bed bugs, the hunger, and the physical danger. He even got through treatment for prostate cancer while recuperating in a shelter bed. His addiction was too powerful to overcome alone.

He knew he needed to make permanent changes when he got tossed out of a shelter. With help from St. Michael’s Hospital and Dr. Stephen Hwang, world-renowned director of MAP Centre for Urban Health Solutions, Howard has been clean and sober for six years. Today, he acts as a peer supporter to help others regain their lives – just like he did his own.

At St. Michael’s Hospital’s MAP Centre for Urban Health Solutions, our research is rigorous, our interventions are innovative, and our solutions are scalable. Simply put, MAP achieves the impacts that can change our world. Help us take on some of the toughest urban health challenges of our time. Click here.

Click here to see how St. Michael’s MAP Centre for Urban Health Solutions is tackling the urban health crisis head on. Or make a donation here.