Pittsburgh man finds second chance in Williamsport

EDITOR’S NOTE: Lycoming County’s homeless population often is overlooked and full of people from a myriad of backgrounds. Here On the PULSE runs a week-long series on the local issue including six different profiles on individuals struggling with homelessness. 

Originally from Pittsburgh, with a house, job, two cars and a family, William Nau lost it all through his struggle with drinking. He came to Williamsport to get sober and start over. 

“I kind of created my own problems, you know … I know what I need to do, it’s just a matter of doing that,” Nau said.  

His struggles with drugs and drinking began at the age of 11 when his brother, 9, tragically died. Nau said it affected the family deeply and he turned to drugs and alcohol for comfort. 

After running into some trouble in Pittsburgh, Nau went White Deer Run to help himself get sober. 

After being discharged, Nau spent a few nights on the street before finding a place at the Men’s Shelter at American Rescue Workers. The shelter gave him a job and helped him get his feet back under him. 

But turning his life around is a struggle. Nau is diagnosed with PTSD and bi-polar, making it difficult to stay away from alcohol. The shelter’s no-drinking policy helps hold him accountable, he said.

The best way to stay out of trouble is to stay busy, Nau said. He plans to become a truck driver in Williamsport and settle down with his kids. 

“For me, it’s like, this is what I want out of life, somewhere I can’t hit my neighbor’s house with a rock,” he said. “I just want to have a little place that’s my own.”

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