“They welcomed me with open arms, a plate of food and warm clothes to wear. They don’t judge me on my past, giving me the chance to grow and achieve my goals”
-Michael A. Pistone
There is a long history of addiction in Mike’s family including his parents, aunts and uncles and grandfather. When he was 10 days old, his dad left and his mom gave him to his grandmother to raise. He worked all of his adult life to support himself and his wife. Mike was not a stranger to drugs and alcohol and it took a negative toll on his ability to hold a job, and make good decisions. His life took a particularly dark turn when his grandmother died and his wife left him almost simultaneously. A fateful decision, that involved him in robbery, resulted in him serving 5 years and 2 months in prison.
A New Beginning
Upon release, Mike returned to the rough Queens neighborhood that had been home. He quickly realized no good would come from staying there. So, he moved to Long Island, found a job and a room. He began attending Mass at Queen of the Most Holy Rosary. It was there he learned about Dismas House. On a cold November afternoon, he visited and met with the director. He left with a warm coat and a renewed sense of hope. A few weeks later, through no fault of his own, Mike was about to find himself homeless. A frightening situation for anyone, but an impossible one for a parolee who needs an address for their parole officer. Call it luck or divine intervention, Dismas House staff contacted Mike to check on him and welcomed him home.
His Journey Continues
According to Mike, there is no place else like Dismas house for men like him. Men who made a mistake, atoned for it and are determined to live a better life this time around. Mike is working, participating in a 12 step program, and attending Mass regularly at Queen of the Most Holy Rosary. He cherishes the transitional home and family he has found at Dismas House. His face lights up and eyes water when he describes decorating the house for Christmas. He is looking forward to continuing his sobriety and being self-sufficient, hoping one day he will be able to give back to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul and Dismas House.