Young Men Program, Chelsea
Seeing Randy with his family today is humbling and inspiring. He moved to Chelsea at 5 years old from his native Puerto Rico. After his parents separated, he remembers feelings of resentment. He got into fights at school and eventually left home to be on his own. He got involved with a gang and was incarcerated several times. When Randy was facing more jail time, a Roca youth worker, Sulai, reached out to him. Randy agreed to start working at Roca.
Still, Randy did not move away from the negative aspects in his life and began abusing drugs. He and his wife found themselves homeless. With nowhere to go, they were sleeping in parks in Chelsea. At last, Randy called Roca.
“I called them crying. I’m tired of this,” Randy says. “They understood me. They made me feel like they really cared about me.” Randy started advancing in Roca and began working. Now a few years later, Randy is still with the same job and has a place to live with his wife and his young son. The smile on his face is just contagious.
“I never want to go back. I see how there is more to life now. Roca saved my life.”