StoryCorps Chicago: “I Had To Give Myself A Second Chance”
Carl “Butch” O’Neil, 53, was ready for a change when he met a case manager named Julie Thompson at the Lincoln Park Community Services homeless shelter. O’Neill had been living on the streets for 17 years and had allowed his hygiene to fall by the wayside while he drank heavily. He says it was the same cycle over and over. “Liquor store, liquor store, liquor store, then jail, jail, jail. That was my life.” Julie Thompson helped get a roof over O'Neill's head and bonded with him as he achieved some remarkable milestones in his life. Recently, she interviewed him as part of our StoryCorps series.
Bill Healy produces StoryCorps Chicago for WBEZ and teaches journalism at Northwestern University. Follow him @chicagoan.