Charlie had a relatively normal Southern California childhood. He loved the beach, surfing, and skating. When his mom suddenly died, he moved around with various family until he ended up in Florida as a young man.
Charlie eventually returned home to California, where he found work, married, enjoyed a pretty stable life -- until he started experiencing seizures. As Charlie’s marriage fell apart, he was working, but struggling with his illness.
Even though he was employed, Charlie soon realized that he could no longer pay his rent and he lost his housing. “Homelessness used to be a paycheck away,” Charlie recalls. “Now, even someone with a job can end up homeless.”
“No one dreams of being homeless,” Charlie explains. He says he tried to find housing on his own but found the process was extensive and exhausting. Being without a home and in constant fear of harassment brought him down.
Thankfully, Charlie reached out to Union Station Homeless Services where he met his housing navigator. “Union Station worked so hard for me,” says Charlie. “They didn’t give up on me, even when I didn’t follow through. Their persistence allowed me to find housing.”
With a safe place of his own and job interviews lined up, Charlie has a bright outlook: “I am optimistic about restarting my life and being able to give back to society.” Charlie has new dreams, too. An avid photographer, Charlie plans to use the photographic footage he captured from his time on the streets to create a documentary about his experience.
Angry and feeling inadequate, John’s early bad judgments and bouts with drugs and alcohol found him at age 33 living in his car.
Shawn has spent the past 10 years working on the front lines of the homeless services industry. What most don’t know is that, using since age 12, Shawn was homeless, broke and in withdrawal from heroin before finding sobriety and purpose.
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