Richard’s story shows how even a college-educated and highly skilled person can suffer an unexpected downturn. In 2018, he moved from Butler, Pennsylvania to take a job in the Tri-Cities as an Operations Database Specialist for a Hanford contractor. But once he started work, a new manager cancelled the contract, saying that the scope of work was no longer necessary.
Suddenly, Richard found himself without a job or medical benefits, 2,500 miles away from the home he had recently left. With a bachelor’s degree in computing and accounting and one in education, and despite a diligent job search, no offers came his way. After living out of his car for a while, he moved to the Tri-City Union Gospel Mission to get back on his feet. Staff there referred him to Grace Clinic.
Clinic providers welcomed him and found many ways to help. Over several months, Richard received treatment for painful gout in his feet and high blood pressure. He also got dental care and osteopathic manipulation for degenerative disc disease from a past car accident. Counseling provided further encouragement.
Richard found ways to give back. Once during the past winter’s heavy snowfall, he grabbed a shovel from his car and cleared snow from the Clinic’s long sidewalk and parking lot entrance.
By June 2019, he had saved enough money to fly back to attend his daughter’s graduation in Pennsylvania. He had a job interview lined up there as well.
The resources he found in the Tri-Cities were like no other, he said. “Between Grace Clinic and the Mission, it really restored hope for me,” he said. “I have gone to places in other states where people look at you with a condescending attitude, but everyone at the Clinic is respectful and supportive. Knowing that there are people who really do care makes a big difference.”