Story by Kayla Vidal
Six years ago, Danny Vidal was lying on the cold concrete outside of the Fourth Street Homeless Shelter in a tattered jacket and ripped jeans. As he lay there staring up at the bitter winter sky, in a daze from being on the eighth day of a drunken binger, he realized that this was not the life he wanted.
Walking inside of a mansion sized home, glancing around all the ceiling to floor windows, expensive furniture and even fancy flooring, it wouldn’t have been obvious that the owner was a homeless alcoholic less than six years ago. Vidal sat seated across from me on a stark white couch. Wearing jeans, a button down t-shirt and some flip flops, looking far different from the business tycoon he is today, he claims he likes to stay close to his roots. He is more than prepared to open up about his troubled but inspirational past.
From the beginning, Vidal never had it easy. As a child, he carried a lot of burdens that most children shouldn’t. Being the man-of-the-house over his mother and four other brothers became too much for the young man, and at the age of 12, is when Vidal had his first drink of alcohol. In that moment, he had no idea that that one drink would lead to a huge addiction that would affect the rest of his life.
What started out as a way to let loose soon led him on a downward spiral that impacted the rest of his life. His addiction caused him to impregnate and marry his high school girlfriend. “It was too much. I was done. I wasn’t ready for it and I wanted a way out.” After a bitter divorce and custody trial left him with nothing, Vidal entered the lowest point of his life. His drinking became an everyday occurrence and he started losing everything.
“I didn’t realize how big my problem was until it was bigger than me and I couldn’t stop it from growing.” Before he knew it, Vidal woke up one cold Christmas morning a 30-year-old man living on the streets, with no job, no family and nothing to live for. “It was the darkest moment of my life. I realized that I either had to die because there was nothing for me to live for, or get my act together so I can find something to live for,” he says. After that life-changing morning, Vidal realized that he was going to change his life. He had hit rock bottom and was going to crawl out of the hole he’d dug for himself.
Two decades after his first drink, Vidal decided it was time for help. “This time was different,” he says “This time it was me going to them for real help, and not them pushing the help on me.” His new life began that day. He entered different facilities that help addicts, attended the Alcoholics Anonymous program and fought to change his life. Vidal claims that it was the hardest change he ever had to make, but it was worth it. In 2011, he started Pro Image Concrete in, and has reached rapid success since then. He’s maintained sobriety for the past five years and continues to fight every day against the drinks that ruined his life. “I make charity a big part of my life because I was given a second chance. I had the ability to completely reinvent my life and that’s not something I take lightly. I need to give back in order to show thanks for the gift I was given,” Vidal says.
Vidal wants to use his story as an inspiration to others and wants them to realize that nothing is too hard to overcome. He claims that one of the reasons he’s able to stay strong in his sobriety is because of the positive impact he’s seen his story have on others. “My main goal is to be the person that I want to be and make him better everyday, but also helping others become that person that they want to be,” he says. “I was given another shot, and everyone else should too.”