"Father Jim was everything a great man should be; down to earth, kind, generous, sympathetic and understanding, and a beloved friend to everyone whose lives he touched. His life was a model that stood for Christianity in Action and it is so very fitting that a Rev. James T. McKenna Memorial Fund was founded and such a thrill to our Foundation to benefit from it."
"Thank you so much for supporting Eva's Village. We are seeing record numbers of homeless and working poor coming to us each day for a hot meal. We strive to help all who come to us, and we are only able to do so through the generosity of friends like you....Thank you so much for helping us to feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, treat the addicted and provide medical care to the poor. God bless you."
Sister Gloria Perez
"As we prepare for the 100th anniversary of St. Christopher's Inn, we recognize that it is only by the grace of God and the continued support of caring people like you that the Inn is approaching this milestone... Through your support, many men have been restored to a life free of alcohol and drugs, and have become responsible family members—sons, brothers, and fathers."
Fr. Bernie Palka, S.A.
St. Christopher's Inn
February 30, 2008
Father Jim McKenna Fund
When I moved into the Ladder Project on April 11, 2006, after coming from a 21 day inpatient rehab center, I did not know what to expect. I was homeless, broke and did not have any hope. All I really wanted was some place to lay my head, and six months sounded like a good enough time. I thought that the world was against me and wanted to see me fail so I had no intention of staying clean at the time. In other words, I was just playing a game with time. But while in the Ladder, with the help of Mr. C's discipline and Mr. Holloway's talks, I became encouraged to get my life together and I began to love myself. This was the first time since running the streets I realized that people really do care.
While residing in the Ladder, I was introduced to the Father Jim McKenna Memorial Fund and their goal to help those who need assistance. When I first heard about the Fund, I thought nothing of it because for most of my life, things never went my way and I did not think that I qualified for any type of help. I thought I was just a failure so I would never have asked anyone for assistance. Nonetheless, upon my release from the Ladder Project to Ladder 2, the McKenna Fund did in fact help me. While still struggling financially, the Fund donated a security deposit in my name to make it easier for me to move in. In addition, when I needed money for school books and didn't know where to get it from the Fund showed up again and assisted me for two school semesters. Furthermore, when I couldn't afford a bed for my apartment and was sleeping on a couch the Fund donated a bed for me.
This is a thank you letter to the Father Jim McKenna Memorial Fund, and all those associated. I really appreciate the love you have shown, even though you may not have met me personally. I hope that one day I am able to give back with such a good heart like you guys do. I am presently fully self-supporting, still in school, and still making meetings. I owe a lot to you because left to my own influences I probably would have given up in the very beginning. School is very important to me and so is staying clean and it's good to know that help is out there if I ask for it. As of March 17, 2008 I will have been clean and sober for 2 years. Thanks GOD for the Ladder Project, The McKenna Fund and the 12 step program.
March 14, 2008
Father McKenna Foundation
I came to the Ladder Project in May of 2005. Before I got here I was just looking for some more time. After being in detox for a week, then the F1, a 21-day Program, I was still weak. I needed more time to get a plan. In my last few days in F1. they still didn't have a place for me to go. I had no family to support me at this point in my life; a month before this I lost both of my parents a month apart. I burnt all my bridges. We sometime do that in active addiction. So my feelings at this point was here I go again. I went to bed that night, to wake up blessed to be at the Ladder Project.
This is when my HP that I call God started doing for me what I couldn't do for myself. When I came here I'm not saying that I was ready to stay clean. I needed a place to stay to figure out my next move. As I stayed here, something finally clicked for me. I started liking the person I was becoming. I listened more talked less and learned more about me.
I finally gave myself a break. For the first time in my life, I love me and started to understand what living life was all about. I had to be willing to do the work [and] as I did the work my purpose came about. Since I completed the Ladder Project my life has gotten better. I have custody of my children, my own place, and a career at The Ladder Project.
As I was leaving the Ladder Project, I was introduced to the Father Jim McKenna Memorial Foundation. To the Foundation I am so ever grateful because they have been a strong back bone to my recovery. They have helped me in so many ways. When I went back to school they helped me with books , when I moved they help me with funds , and right now I am striving to get my driver's License back which they have been very supportive of me.
Still fighting the fight I can see light at the end of the tunnel. Thanks to all the Staff at The Ladder Project and the Father Jim McKenna Memorial Foundation; keep doing what you are doing because you helped me to reinvent my life. You have been a true blessing in my life as well as my children's lives also. As of now I'm a counselor with my CDA , and my CADC pending at the Ladder Project . Doing what you all taught me; helping others with no expectations. I truly thank you from the bottom of my heart and soul.