Andrew was born and raised in Boulder and moved to Longmont in 2000. He says he grew up very poor. In 1991 his grandparents, aunt, and uncle were in a car accident. All died except for his aunt (mom's family). Six months later his parent's divorced, his mom later remarried, Andrew was only 14. He bounced between both families. Andrew remembers when his Mom had a â€œbreak downâ€. He says his relationship with his dad was nearly nonexistent; his dad had issues with alcohol and so did he. But Andrew is proud to say he checked into Centennial Peaks to get help with his problem. Because of this, the relationship between he and his dad are improving.
Andrew says all of his life he has dealt with depression. He went to school at Longmont High but did not do well because of his depression. He enrolled at Olde Columbine because he says it was a more supporting community for him. He had to work hard to catch up and he did, and excelled. He graduated in 1995 with a 3.2 GPA. After high school Andrew suffered major depression, he was later diagnosed with Bi-Polar Disorder.
In addition, Andrew has suffered back pain since 2001. He has had spinal surgery 2 times (rare surgery) and couldn't walk for several months after his surgery and in fact had to use a wheelchair and walker. Andrew applied for disability benefits and was awarded them in 2007.
Andrew was married in April 2003 he says it was not a good marriage. He was divorced in 2005. He got his own apartment but couldnâ€™t afford the rent because he had lost his job due to an accident at work and back related problems. After his divorce he was forced to move in with his mom and step dad but the living situation was not working out for him. His mom did research on the Inn, and told Andrew about the program. Andrew had preconceived notions about the Inn; he thought it was a halfway house. He found out it was more of a support system and nothing like he thought. His Case Manager from Mental Health referred him to the Inn and he moved in January of 2007. Andrew has received a lot of support while living at the Inn. He says he was friends with most of the people here. While living at the Inn Andrew received a Shelter Plus Voucher and recently moved into a one-bedroom apartment in Broomfield to be close to his family and have his dog move-in with him as pets are not allowed at the Inn. Andrew says that he wouldn't be where he is but for the help of his mom, step dad, grandma and friends. He says his new apartment is "like a palace"; he says it is a wonderful place.
Andrew has a certificate in Horticulture and loves plants and animals. Andrew says his dog "STAR" made her transition into glory and eternity recently due to lung cancer.
Andrew was the recipient of an educational scholarship from the Inn. He says the scholarship helped pay his tuition and school supply's, he says the scholarship has been invaluable to him. He has been studying at Front Range Community College off and on for about ten years. He will receive his certification to be an optician at the end of this semester from the Emily Griffith Opportunity School. He will get his Associates Degree from Front Range Community College in Social Behavior Sciences with a major in Sociology, his minor will be in History with an endorsement in art. Andrew is very interested in his education. His focus is on receiving his Bachelors degree and hopes to go to Metro State in the fall. He hopes to work as an optician while working on his Bachelors degree. Andrew doesn't see himself as being disabled but as someone without the "dis", he says he has many "abilities". He says that no one should place limitation on what they can do, he never has. Although studying has been difficult due to his dis"abilities" he has managed to get's in all his classes. We are very proud of Andrew!