Message From Fr. Dennis Polanco, SA

We’ve all heard the phrase: “The more things change, the more they remain the same.” 

Fr. Dennis Polanco, S.A.

This is especially true when it comes to helping the homeless and chemically dependent regain their lives as productive members of society. All too often the common attitude is, “these people have gotten themselves into this mess, let them get themselves out of it.”

When one stops and thinks for a moment, who would ever choose or desire to be homeless or chemically dependent on either alcohol and/or drugs? More often then not, homelessness is the result of chemical dependency, which gradually takes over a person’s life until all hope and focus on life is lost. The fact is those suffering from homelessness and chemical dependency, cannot get “out of this mess” by themselves. Truly, without help, there is no hope.

If one of these people were your father, husband or brother what would want for them? Certainly you would want them to get the help they need to be restored to a productive, chemically free life.

Yet the challenges to be faced to receive help and hope are many and varied. Frequently insurance companies severely limit services or even deny treatment as an option. The focus today seems to be on saving money rather than saving lives. There is a bureaucracy present that often seems and is overwhelming to those seeking assistance.

For over 100 years, St. Christopher’s Inn has had a lot of practice in “swimming upstream. ”We do everything in our power not only to welcome the men in need that come to us but also to make sure that if they really want help, they can receive it.

The good news is that people still believe in helping people. The support that St. Christopher’s Inn receives goes directly to helping those who come to us in need. The Friars of the Atonement, the Board of Directors, and our Benefactors in all their efforts have a clear focus—with help there is hope!

At our Annual Alumni picnic in August hundreds of Alumni return, many with their families, to say thank you and to celebrate their lives in recovery. They are living witnesses that things can and do change.

Thank you for being part of their many stories of success!

Fr. Dennis Polanco, SA
President, St. Christopher's Inn
dpolanco@atonementfriars.org