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Finding Relief Through Comedy

Comedy has become both an outlet for Richard Sheingold and it has enabled him to prosper and continue to pursue his goals in life.

Early in his years and before receiving services from Vinfen, Richard dropped out of school and ended up in a shelter. He felt abandoned and alone. Knowing he wanted change in his life, Richard started a job as a receptionist and connected with Vinfen.

“Vinfen has been a rock for me in terms of support,” Richard explained.

Richard now has his own apartment. He has become a published author, writing a book of poetry, and a local comedian, performing at shows around the city. He also loves to give back by volunteering as a little league coach. “It’s really for the kids to teach them and see what they learn and how to make them better players,” Richard stated. He enjoys seeing the transformation of the kids as they improve their skill set in baseball as well as teaching sportsmanship and teamwork. “First of all it’s fun. Second of all, I love to joke with the kids.”

Jokes and comedy have been a staple throughout Richard’s life. Humor was the saving grace within his family and helped him cope. “Subconsciously, every chance I get to make a joke I do because it makes me feel better,” Richard explained.  Richard currently has his own live show every Wednesday from 5 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Cambridge Community Television called Richard’s Variety Show. He offers sports trivia, poetry, and covers a wide variety of topics with the addition of comedy. He also is a volunteer reporter on the CCTV Cambridge News Team.

In the future, Richard wants to continue to do his comedy and share his reporting talents with the world. “Maybe some college team might want someone to do broadcasting. That’s my big goal,” Richard said. He also plans to continue supporting as the annual Emcee of the Cambridge Somerville Community Celebration at Arts at the Armory.

Richard has been with Vinfen for over nine years now and has attributed his successes to receiving helpful support from collaborative Vinfen staff. “Vinfen does a lot of good things. They have a person inside of your apartment, one to talk with as a therapist, they have a dance night, and of course the banquet,” Richard shared.

Thanks to comedy, a strong support system and community, and receiving services from Vinfen, Richard has experienced many victories in life and continues to pursue his dreams. “I’ve become a champion of forgiveness. I work really hard on that and that’s very important for most people,” Richard proclaimed.

Pictured above is Richard as he emceed the 9th annual Cambridge Somerville Community Celebration this past November.