Meet Gary and Heather…
Hello everyone. We are Gary and Heather, and we have been married since November 22, 1996. The picture above is Gary and I with our 2 grandsons. The last 20 years together has not been a rose garden. A big “Thank You” to God and Soul’s Harbor, our marriage and our lives are back on track.
We will start our story with Gary who grew up in a middle class family in Irving. Gary started drinking and smoking pot in Junior High – today they called it Middle School. Gary went to Irving MacArthur High School. Gary started his journey on harder drugs by experimenting with speed in high school. Gary was able to land a great job with an automobile bumper company in Dallas. He was smitten by one of our drivers and her name was Heather. So now, you know how we met.
Heather has a different story. I grew up in Southern California but moved to Dallas when I was 15 years old. I started smoking cigarettes and then pot. I graduated from Dallas Samuell High School, located in Pleasant Grove. I got married and had a child in February 1989. My little boy’s name was Alton. However, the first marriage was not for me, I moved out and got my own apartment. I landed a job with an automobile bumper company in Dallas and really like hanging out with one of the managers – his name was Gary. Gary and I partied on the weekend by drinking and going to the clubs. It was fun. We dated for 6 years and finally in the fall of 1996, we committed our lives together. At that time, Gary and I were only drinking on weekends but then our weekends got longer and our drinking consumption dramatically increased. We then started doing cocaine which led to Methamphetamine. We had cars, jobs and a house but as our addiction kicked in, we started to lose our house, our cars and our careers. As Brent calls it “The Great Eraser”. The last thing it erased was our marriage. Gary could not hold a job so he became unemployable and homeless. Our former neighbor suggested Gary should go to “Soul’s Harbor” and work on his Methamphetamine addiction. So in February 2013, Gary entered Soul’s Harbor. A few months later, his son Lane entered Soul’s Harbor. Gary wished his addiction stopped there and his recovery took off. But it didn’t. Gary got a job in the fall of 2014 but within a few months, Gary thought he could “control” his addiction. He couldn’t and left Soul’s Harbor. His son, Lane was able to complete Soul’s Harbor program and graduate from Seagoville High School. Gary’s drug addiction became worse. Within a few weeks, with his tail between his legs, Gary re-entered Soul’s Harbor with a better appreciation of recovery. Next month, Gary will be celebrating 3 years of being sober and clean.
When Gary and I broke off, I started staying at cheap hotels and continuing my drug intake. Then I moved to a trailer park but soon I was living in my car. As long as I had a car, I had a roof over my head. My car was jammed with all my personal belongings – including my 2 dogs. Gary helped me financially keep my car but I was still using. So, in a way, he was enabling me. Gary then did “Tough Love” on me and I lost my car. I was “at wits end”. Where was I going to live? What was going to happen to me? Who would help me? I turned to God and started praying. God answered my prayers by putting me in touch with a former high school friend. My old friend told me I was welcomed in her house but absolutely there was “no drugs” permitted in her house. Seeing that Gary was sober and clean for 14 months, I started attending a few open recovery meetings at Soul’s Harbor. That was over 1 ½ years ago. Because of God’s grace, I am still sober and clean.
100 Men Who Give…
Last month, Soul’s Harbor was one of three non-profits that was selected to tell their 5 minute story to “100 Men who Give a Damn in East Dallas”. After the presentation, each member was asked to vote for only one of the three non-profits. Then each member writes a $100 check for the winning non-profit. Unfortunately, Soul’s Harbor was not selected but we were honored to attend. Congratulations to Vogel Alcove who won. Pictured above is me and DeWayne Deaver, who is the Recovery Program Director. To learn more about “100 Men who Give a Damn East Dallas, go to their website at:
We need your help…
Soul’s Harbor homeless shelter is supported solely by our four thrift stores. You can donate your household items via phone (972-286-1940) or our “Household Donation Request Form” page. We also take automobiles “Vehicle Donation Request Form“. So if you have old clothes, furniture, appliances, household items, or even a car to donate to Soul’s Harbor, either fill out our online form or call our dispatch office at 972-286-1940. Our dispatch office is open Monday through Saturday from 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM. We are sustained solely through our four thrift store sales. We rely on your donated items to support our shelter. At Soul’s Harbor, we would like to thank all our customers that donate their items and also our thrift store customers. Because without our customers, there would be no Soul’s Harbor.
Thank you and God Bless.
Executive Director of Soul’s Harbor Homeless Shelter
Dispatch Representative/Main Contact Number:
Soul’s Harbor, Incorporated
13134 Nile Drive
Dallas, Texas 75253