Getting back on track with help from United Way

“The Cold Weather Shelter saved my life.”

Lance’s life has been anything but easy. After a long battle with substance abuse, he decided to leave his home in Greensburg nine years ago to get sober. In 2018, he made the choice to return to the city for a fresh start. When he arrived in March, he had only a couple dollars to his name, and he wasn’t sure where to turn.

“I was sober, and I was ready to get back to Greensburg and continue getting my life back on track,” Lance explained.

Lance thought he would have to live on the streets until he could find a job, but thankfully, a friendly business owner told Lance about the Union Mission, a United Way funded shelter for men. From there, the staff at Union Mission got Lance into their Rapid Rehousing Program, where they helped him find an affordable place to live, budget his money, and fill out necessary forms and paperwork. Soon, Lance found a job at the Latrobe Country Club, and he felt like his life was back on track.

In November, after his hours at the club were cut down for the winter season, Lance was a day behind on rent. His landlord evicted him without notice. “I was coming back with the rent money that day, and as I went to pay him, I realized he had changed the locks and moved all of my stuff,” Lance said.

With it being November, the cold weather was setting in. Thankfully, Lance knew United Way could help through the Cold Weather Shelter program at Union Mission. He returned to the mission where he had a bed to sleep on and a warm place to stay as he worked with the staff at Union Mission to help him find a new place to live.

“Bless the people at Union Mission. I think I would be in jail if it wasn’t for the Cold Weather Shelter,” Lance said. “I had nowhere to go, but they helped me find a new place to live.”

Now, Lance is in a new apartment, continues working at the Country Club, and picks up jobs on weekends when he can. “I’ve learned to be more grateful. I think I still have a lot to learn, and I’m so glad to have Union Mission as a resource to help me continue through this process,” Lance said.

To learn more about United Way’s Cold Weather Shelter, visit