Spotlight on a Brother Christopher – Richard F.
By all accounts, Richard F. should be in jail. Instead, he is at work managing a thriving restaurant, and supporting others who are in need of the same chances that he was afforded along his recovery journey.
After several bad choices and more than one DWI, Richard was required to spend two separate sentences at a transitional living residence. However, his focus was not on the work of recovery, so it was no surprise when he ended up in a hotel room on a three-month bender and was faced with two options—get help, or die.
Richard went to an intensive in-patient substance abuse treatment program for two weeks, and then in September 2016 he arrived at St. Christopher’s Inn where the real work on his recovery began. For the first time, Richard really listened to learn about his disease and how to work on recovery. “St. Christopher’s Inn was a well-run program. I actually enjoyed being there and talking to everyone—the Sisters, the Friars, the counseling staff. I actually listened to what they had to say, and they all helped me.”
After four months of work on the Holy Mountain, and on himself, Richard was approved to move to Brothers Christopher House, St. Christopher’s Inn’s transitional living home in White Plains, New York. While his treatment continued on a part-time basis, Richard attended the Culinary Tech Institute in White Plains, New York. As a felon with a suspended driver’s license, Richard was concerned about finding employment with a business or organization that was willing to take a risk, knowing his past battles with alcohol. He found that opportunity with a FiveGuys restaurant in White Plains where he started as a crew member. Within six months he was promoted to shift leader, and in September 2018, he was promoted to General Manager.
As general manager, Richard has been able to extend to others the same chance that was given to him, and whenever possible, he hires men from Brothers Christopher House to give them a place to begin their transition back to work, community and society. In June, Richard received a Community Recognition Award from Search for Change, a non-profit organization that assists people with mental illness to secure gainful employment, among other support services.
The Friars and Staff of St. Christopher’s Inn were proud to be in attendance at the award breakfast to applaud Richard for this award, and for his determination to help others on the road to recovery.