"You could be a working person, lose a job, miss a payment, then 3 months later be homeless."
Danny was an investment banker with a major company. At 50 he was energetic and working, as he says, eight days a week on very little sleep. But when his bank merged with another large institution he lost his job and his busy schedule came to a sudden halt. Finding work in his fifties proved more challenging than he thought. Without steady paychecks he soon fell behind on rent. College educated with a Master’s degree, Danny was in a position he never thought he’d find himself in...homeless.
He was trying to survive on his savings, and the generosity of his friends and the comfort of their couches. But it wasn’t the same as having his own home. He started numbing the stress of losing his place and not being able to find work through substance abuse, which only compounded his situation.
"I let myself - convinced myself - my life was over. I spent about a good year bouncing around and hating myself."
After a year of bouncing around and with the prospect of sleeping on the sidewalk in sight, social services referred Danny to PATH. He stayed in PATH’s interim housing and worked at a Ralph’s in Santa Monica for a year a stark contrast to his previous lifestyle. While staying at PATH, he discovered he had a mental health issue, but no one had ever questioned his previous behavior or offered help. He sought professional counseling and, with almost perfect timing, he learned that a PATH permanent supportive housing community was being built and looking for tenants. He was one of the first residents to move in.
Danny wants to start his own small practice so he can hire other people who may have been in his situation, and influence other small businesses. That’s what I want to do for the time I have left, he says.
"I’ve had a lot of encouragement here and I’m turning it around."
Angry and feeling inadequate, John’s early bad judgments and bouts with drugs and alcohol found him at age 33 living in his car.
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