Profile of a Man in Blue

The men that make up the Ready, Willing & Working (RWW) team achieve new levels of personal and professional success every day. They work hard to keep Capitol Hill clean and beautiful while learning the skills to enable them to become productive citizens.

Robert Mason, 49, came to RWW like so many do- desperate and homeless, but willing to make personal changes. His goal was to begin what he describes as his “second life.”

Robert says he had already lived a nice “first life.” His childhood was spent between the hills of the Allegheny plateau in Western Pennsylvania and the southlands of South Carolina. He joined the Navy as a young man, and had a beautiful wife and son (now 25). That life began to unravel when his wife became ill. As her caretaker, Robert turned to alcohol for solace. When she died, his means of solace became an addiction and his life spun out of control.

His “second life” began when he joined RWW as a member of the Capitol Hill BID clean team just over a year ago. He says RWW has given him the opportunity he was looking for. “It makes you feel like you have a future.” By helping him take control of his addiction and set goals that he had come to think unachievable, Robert is now on a path toward earning his medical assistant certificate.

As RWW grows, Robert Mason hopes to become a leader in the organization and he plans to maintain a connection to the program throughout the remainder of his “second life.”