Gabriel: ‘St. Benedict’s has given me a second chance on life’

In September 2020, Gabriel graduated from Owensboro Community & Technical College with certificates in production line welding, gas welding, welding helper, and exploratory machinery.

Soon after, he earned a job at Metalsa, a manufacturing facility.

Gabriel, 46, lives in St. Benedict’s transitional housing. The low rent has allowed him to pay off some former debts, which he calls “the wreckage of my past.”

Also, living at St. Benedict’s enables him to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  The shelter’s rules would allow him to live in transitional housing for up to two years, but he hopes to find his own place sometime this summer.

“St. Benedict’s has given me a second chance on life,” he said. “It has given me time to grow and rebuild my life. … It gives a man a chance to get back on his feet.”

Gabriel has lived at St. Benedict’s shelter or its transitional home about 1-1/2 years off and on.

“St. Benedict’s gave me food and shelter when I needed it,” he said. “Every resource I needed was readily available.”

He also applauded the men’s shelter for providing life-skills training. From assistance with income taxes to writing resumes to balancing a checkbook, St. Benedict’s helps clients achieve independence.

“St. Benedict’s networks with other agencies in the community,” Gabriel said. “It’s a community hub that helps a lot of guys out there.”