A year ago, Thomas Wolf was living on the streets of the Tenderloin in San Francisco, addicted to drugs and not sure if he would survive.
This week, the Salvation Army hired Wolf to work in the neighborhood, helping others in distress find help.
"From february to June of last year, I was literally sleeping on the street every night and using heroin on a daily basis," Wolf said.
Today, Wolf works as case manager and life skills coordinator for the Salvation Army’s Railton Place, where he just told a 60-year-old veteran living on the streets with nothing but a cellphone he’ll soon have transitional housing.
"That’s huge, right there," Wolf said. "That’s why I’m here. That to me is giving back, a little bit, to this community, which needs help. So that’s one less guy on the street."
It wasn’t that long ago Wolf was one of those guys. After Wolf was arrested six times in 5 months for drug use, one officer finally insisted he get treatment.
He later tweeted, "Thanks for pulling me out of there, you saved my life."
Now, the father of two is paying it forward.
"Thomas is one of those stories where he’s making a difference because he’s giving back to this organization that helped him," said Major Raymond Erickson-King, executive director for the Salvation Army
Not far at all from the Salvation Army outpost, just two blocks west and one block south, is where Wolf spent almost a half year of his life, surrounded on all sides by drugs and sleeping on a corner.
"Considering where I was a year ago to where I’m at now, it’s a miracle," he said. "It really is a miracle. There’s no other way to say it."