Paul never took a shower because he never got another change of clothes. I have not seen him for months.
Gary still smokes crack, but has learned not to overdose on our property (lest he be suspended from our services again).
I am sure Rita's child has been born, and I pray that they are safe. May 12th was the last time I saw her... but not the last time I thought about her.
Rob doesn't pay child support for his son anymore, which has caused his greif to switch from his debt to his son's death.
BobbyJoel's police report successfully secured him a spot in the subsidized apartments he applied to. I hear a rumor that he has a really cool toaster oven that can cook frozen pizzas.
Jarrone and Christina are still together in a "agree to disagree" sort of way, but neither of them have their State ID's anymore.
Gerald came back to my office this week with another gift: a daffodil he uprooted from a nearby highway median. He handed it to me with a shaking hand and said "I'm sorry." Sorry because after almost 2 years of sobriety, he was drunk.
Paulie still drinks as much as he pleases, but has stopped looking for work and stopped pretending to go to school. Never stops smiling.
In this neighborhood, things change, and then sometimes, they change back. But they're always moving, and three years of employment in one place shows you much more than a month, or a year. I've seen the full run of a relationships, what happens after a stint in jail (and what doesn't), sobriety and relapse, and if I've learned anything, it's that change is a constant state, not a single event, but this doesn't mean that it doesn't count, or it's not effective. It's like the turn of a screw--you may look like you're at the same point as you were a year ago, but you're just a little bit deeper; a little bit closer to your destination.
Relapse is part of recovery; sometimes you have to step backward to maintain your balance.