Escaping homelessness isn't easy. It takes time. It takes patience. You have to be able to overcome the setbacks because they will come. This is a piece about someone who did all that. His success is a success for all of us in the community.
Keys are often overlooked. They’re tossed aside or lost. To some a key does more than open a door.
Being homeless is like being lost. Nobody wants you around. Nobody wants to be around you. You lose your self respect. You lose your dignity. You lose your pride. You just want to give up.
When I came to the shelter, I knew I needed to make changes in my life. What I did in the past and what I was doing now wasn’t working. Not for me. Not for the people left in my life. It was time to do something different….something new. It was past time.
I worked the program and knew it was going to take time. All the classes teach you how to get your life back. How to live independently. It gets frustrating. After a few steps moving ahead, there’s a step back. A setback. You have to stay positive and keep working….keep moving forward. Be patient.
When you have a success, you get to ring a bell. When you find permanent housing, you ring that bell...LOUD!! I’d seen a lot of people ring the bell before me. They got their key. I was happy for them but wondered when my time would come. How would I act? How would I feel when it was my time?
When I finally got my key I was so happy. I never thought it would happen to me in my life. This is what I’ve been waiting for. Twenty-Three years! To be on my own. To finally be independent.
I’m not the same person as when I came into these doors. This program has changed me as a person. Made me better.
I’m thankful for my new apartment because it gave me a new life. I got some of the most beautiful grandchildren in the world. Before I saw them maybe once a year. I get to see them regularly now.
It’s all because of this key. My key.