At WellLife Network’s recent Inaugural Annual Dinner, guests were introduced to three outstanding program participants who were recipients of the first WellLife Network "Be Well for Life" Inspiration Award. Their poignant stories were highlights of the evening. Rafael R. is a truly amazing individual, whose life story reflects a lifelong struggle with mental illness, substance abuse, and incarceration.


Rafael’s parents were addicted to drugs. His father passed away when he was 20 years old from HIV. His mother was an alcoholic and diagnosed with bi-polar disorder. He began experimenting with drugs at an early age and was besieged by the ravages of drug addiction. He lost his job and housing simultaneously and lived in his car until it was repossessed on a cold winter night. He was eventually forced to enter the shelter system, an alternative fraught with danger and conflict.


One day Rafael received news of an apartment vacancy that would be his own. Rafael rejoiced, “God heard my cries and my prayers – WellLife Network was giving me an apartment which I now call home”. Despite the difficulties of his earlier life, he exhibits a determination and a commitment to overcome the past and create a new future. “I thank God for my blessings and to WellLife Network for giving me a new start,” said Rafael.


For more information, call WellLife Network’s Residential Intake:  917-563-3348

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