A popular bartender in Providence for over 20 years, Manny Gomes’ life was changed when a car crash left his leg badly damaged. During recovery, he took oxycodone for the pain and turned to heroin when his prescriptions ran out. A quick downward spiral left Manny living on the streets until one cold night in 2005. Sleeping in a dumpster, Manny woke to the rumbling sound of his dumpster being emptied into a refuse truck. Manny called for help as the truck broke bones and puncture a lung. After a three-month stay in the hospital, Manny returned to the streets until a friend told him about House of Hope. After an interview with the executive director, Jean Johnson, Manny was offered an apartment at the Fran Conway House, one of House of Hope’s affordable housing buildings, and was able to qualify for disability and enroll in methadone treatment.
Manny has since moved into permanent housing and keeps busy doing landscaping and helping neighbors. He does so much for his community that he has become known as the Mayor of Apponaug. Manny also serves on the Board of Directors for House of Hope.