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A former pillar of the community grew into drugs and homelessness. Then the police rescued him



"I was really the worst," Wolf remembered his condition in February 2018. "I smoked heroin every day, and I also used cocaine at the time."

Gilson gave the signs were unmistakable.

"It was obvious that Tom had a drug addiction the first time I spoke to him," said Gilson, who at the time was showing Wolf's passport and learned that he was being listed as a missing person. "He was in one of our busier areas because of drugs."

Gilson asked Wolf if he needed help, but like many who are addicted to drugs, he refused to help.

Gilson left the missing person's report submitted by Wolf's wife and updated it. Later, Gilson called her to say that he had come into contact with her husband.

"It was a very memorable conversation for me," Gilson said from her first phone call when he learned that until recently, Wolf had been a pillar of his church, working for others and supporting his family. "I just felt bad for her, I mean, you have that poor lady on the other end of the phone who cries and tells you how much she misses her husband ̵

1; how much she wants him to get help."

Impacted by conversation and her palpable pain, Gilson told Wolf's wife he was going to look for her husband.

"I see the Toms of the Tenderloin, but I do not speak to very many wives of people who are still married in this position," Gilson stated. From then on, Gilson checked to see if Wolf was in the block he used to hang around. Gilson often said he was there.

"I see many faces every day," Gilson said. "But Tom somehow stayed the course of my conversation with his wife."

Shortly thereafter, Wolf was arrested for the first time and received a court order to stay away from this block in the tenderloin.

"If you see someone who has never made a detention record of what Tom did, it's obvious their drug addiction has taken their lives," Gilson said.

Wolf was arrested six times – four times by Gilson – and each time Gilson had words for Wolf.

"Tom was more open to conversation, so I just remembered his wife and I just wanted to remind him," Gilson explained.

Wolf always remembered that Gilson remembered arresting him, "would he be like," What are you doing out here? "He would just say that to me," What are you doing out here? You should not be here. You have a family. Go home to your family. "

Tenderloin Police Station published Wolf's Mug on Twitter in June 2018. In the picture, he is disheveled, unshaven – his eyes glazed, his eyes dull.

Along with the image wrote Police:
"TL officers continue to arrest Thomas Wolf … for violating the court order to be 150 yards away. Yesterday, he was again arrested / booked because he had violated the order. 103 binds heroin and cocaine in a bag at his feet. Notify us if you see him in this block. "

Wolf was arrested again four days later, but the event was different: Wolf went to jail for the first time, and finally heard what Gilson said to him all the time.

"He came to me and said: 'Look at you. You're thin. You are dirty. Your clothes are dirty. & # 39; He says, "I do not know what you're going through, I do not know if it's a mid-life crisis, but whatever it is, get some help and return to your family," Wolf said. "And for some reason, as he told me, it brought tears to my eyes because I knew it, but I had put down all this guilt and sadness." ] Wolf was in prison for almost three months, forcing him to get clean. His brother offered to rescue him when he went to rehab. Wolf agreed, and the next day his brother took him away to the Sanitation Rehabilitation Center in San Francisco.

"At that moment, my life really began to change," Wolf said. "This place was crucial to saving my life."

Ken Johnson, the Salvation Army's senior adviser, was the first to meet Wolf when he came to the six-month program. "He was completely broken, he was hopeless," Johnson said of Wolf. "In fact, he had tears in his eyes more than once."

But Wolf continued to focus on the process. "Tom only dived 100% into his head and he never wavered throughout his program," Johnson added.

At the end of his six-month stay at the Salvation Army, Wolf returned to his SFPD Twitter post from his mugshot. Write his own message saying, "I'm in recovery now. I've been in and out for almost 8 months I would like to sincerely thank the ARC of the Salvation Army for giving me a chance to reunite my life A special thanks to Officer TL Gilson, TL, who pulled me out and saved my life. "

Wolf, who was looking for a job, wanted potential employers who researched him to know he was back on his feet, he also hoped that Gilson would see it.

"I'm really thankful for the kind from the man he is, to the kind of work he does, and the fact that he actually listened to a desperate woman calling him the phone, "Wolf said." He really saved my life because towards the end – before I was arrested the last time – I started using Fentanyl. And I think if he had not spent so much to get me out of there, maybe I'm not talking to you today. Maybe I'm in the grave instead.

Gilson sees things differently, adding that several police officers were involved in getting Wolf off the streets.

"Tom is the type in combat. Tom is the one who lives on the street and does what he does. That can not be a simple life. So, to get out of it … that's the really cool part, "said Gilson, who said he was a police officer because of his desire to help people." I was able to give Tom a little boost in the right one To give direction, I think – to change his perspective and really just to hold him to account. Tom is the one who did all the hard work. "

Before drugs took over, Wolf had a good life with his wife and two young children, he was a homeowner with a solid job." I had a decent, regular job Living in the middle class, "said Wolf.

Wolf was a support officer for children in the city and San Francisco district for nine years, where he got absent parents to pay child support, and in 2015 his team received an award for their Efforts: Only two months later, in May, Wolf had a foot operation.

From the & # 39; state servant to a homeless drug addict & # 39;

"She gave me 10 milligrams of oxycodone Pills and I started to take these, "Wolf explained." Immediately after I took them I felt euphoria. The pain was gone and all my worries went with it. And so I thought, "That's great." Within a very short span of time – a few months – I popped them like candy.

"I became a homeless drug addict in the tenderloin within four years," Wolf said.

At some point, he would need three or four pills just to get up in the morning, and he refilled the recipe and plowed it this second bottle in about a week, when it should have taken him a month.

The doctor did not prescribe oxycodone for him anymore. "I was addicted and did not like the feeling of withdrawals," Wolf recalled, "I had that Feeling I have the flu 10 times. "

But he remembered a place where he could buy drugs in the tenderloin." I went there and sure I could find 30-milligram oxycodone pills, " said Wolf.

"You're $ 30 per pill, so I would buy 10 each. That's $ 300 – and 10 pills stopped me for about four or five days, then it took three days and then two days, "Wolf explained." Within a year, I took 500 to 600 milligrams of oxycodone daily. "

Just one Block of the San Francisco Police Department's tenderloin station is the heart of drug trafficking, and Gilson described the city's drug problem and said, "To put it beautifully, it's out of control."

"There's & # 39; Pill Hill & # 39; – You can buy just about any prescription drug you want there, "said Gilson, across the street you can buy heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine, crack cocaine, you can buy fentanyl, you can buy what you buy want there. "

" It seems drug trafficking is deteriorating, there is no shortage of drug buyers, there is no shortage of people who have an addiction, "Gilson said. "On the other hand, there is absolutely no shortage of people willing to sell drugs, something that goes on around the clock at almost every block in the city – especially in the block where Tom was . " 19659002] The street trade brings violence and death. Toward the end of his time on the road, Wolf said he had seen and died three overdoses of Fentanyl.

"One of them died right in front of me, and the paramedics gave him resuscitation, and he just did not come back," Wolf said.

Another time, he awoke to a man lying on the floor, Wolf remembering, "He was blue and stiff, and he had been dead for several hours. And there was a needle with some fentanyl next to him. "

" Tenderloin, "Gilson said, adding that there were two that morning.

Find a more favorable high

After his savings had subsided and he could not afford the expensive pills, Wolf switched to heroin. That was much cheaper. "I remember buying my first heroin Dino in April 2017 and by that time stopped using the pills," Wolf said. He found that his tolerance had increased and he therefore consumed more frequently. That meant more trips to the tenderloin.

He was sweating a lot. He disappeared for hours and explained it away, saying he would go to the store. "But what I really did is that I evaluated some drugs," Wolf said.

Nevertheless, Wolf's wife (who should not be named to protect her privacy) rejected her husband's drug problem. "I think it was not until my friends and family really said, 'This is a problem,' she said, 'and it even took longer than was perhaps necessary.'

In May 2018, Wolf's wife ordered a restraining Disposition against him after a counselor pointed out that in the eyes of the authorities, Tom would retain the same rights to her children unless she formally declared that he was not fit for parents at the time. "They do not know that he did not come home last night, or that you saw film everywhere and his hands are dirty, "she reminded herself to the counselor who told her," My kids did not understand it, and I just told them They deserve the best father ever. The father you remember. Her father is sick now. "

  San Francisco Police Officer Rob Gilson Helped Thomas Wolf Make His Turn

Wolf also has a new job, and he's now a case manager at another Salvation Army location in San Francisco Part of the city where Wolf knows how great the need is – the Tenderloin.

Jason Kravarik of CNN contributed to this report.


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