The second time Russell Price, 56, underwent drug rehabilitation through the Veterans Administration, he says it was about accepting “total surrender” to overcoming his addiction.
Nearly nine months later, Russell is still sober and straightening out his life, thanks to support and a temporary place to live at Alpha Omega Veterans Services, a charitable organization that helps homeless and distressed military veterans reintegrate back into society. His road to recovery includes three nutritious meals a day at Alpha Omega, with food provided from Mid-South Food Bank.
“The fact is, food is hard to come by every day when you are an addict because you put all your money toward drugs before anything else,” Russell said.
Lack of food and unhealthy eating combined with drug addiction is especially challenging for many homeless people. Russell is a Navy veteran and one of 18 veterans who live at Alpha Omega Veterans Home. He is now a student at the University of Memphis studying to become a counselor.
Russell says many veterans they are too proud to ask for help, and too ashamed to admit or share their personal struggles. That makes outreach to them especially challenging. “Most people don’t understand that for many people, food is a luxury. At Alpha Omega, all the meals served are phenomenal. It’s a pivotal part of helping to get your life back together.”