Tomas Zamudio never thought he’d live past 40. Addicted to crystal meth, homeless and alone, he lived with no concern for a future he thought he’d never have. Until one night when he was attacked by a group of young men and beaten so badly he thought his fortune was being told. Lying there, bleeding on the cold concrete street he realized he had no ID and if he died, no way to be identified.
“I knew if I died my mom would never know what happened to her son. If I could have found a way to die without leaving a mess behind I would have, but I couldn’t do that to my mom.” Tomas said when reflecting on the night he was gay-bashed. He was 39 years old, had lost his house, his boyfriend and his will to live but that night he decided to take it back.
Tomas started going to crystal meth anonymous meetings and four days later entered McIntyre House, a rehabilitation center for men in Los Angeles, CA. When asked about his experience entering the house Zamudio said, “I was completely out of ideas. I didn’t know what to do or how to stay sober. The ‘House,’ gave me the structure I needed, taught me to take responsibility for my actions and most importantly, that I’m a good person who deserves to be loved.” He added, “The program was not easy, but it was simple.”
Five years after his attack and still clean and sober, Tomas is the McIntyre House Manager where he oversees up to 16 residents at a time and continues his daily pursuit towards self-improvement. His most recent achievements involve losing 30 pounds and enrolling himself in the Paul Mitchell school to become a hair stylist.
Tomas Zamudio never thought he’d live past 40, but he’s done far more than that, he’s learned how to live and continues to make progress every day. He’s a service to many other men who meet him in a state very similar to his own when he first entered the House and sees some of them go through similar struggles and positive changes. Some of them go on to lead lives with the same passion and empathy as Zamudio and for those still suffering he has this to say,
Drugs are not the solution. They are the problem. If you suffer from addiction and you’re using, that’s not living its surviving. Life is worth living!
McIntyre House is a 5,000 square foot townhouse located in the central Los Angeles area. They offer a safe space for men to live and recover from drug addiction and/or alcohol abuse. The program also offers three meals a day with a family style dinner, community room and outdoor recovery garden.
For more information about services offered at McIntyre House, please visit: www.McIntyreHouse.org