July 18, 2018

Originally from El Salvador, Horacio came to the U.S. as a political refugee seeking asylum and work. Horacio’s own experience as a migrant shaped his educational path.

He attended UCLA for his Bachelor’s Degree and was later accepted to UC Berkley for his Master’s program. As he pursued his Ph.D., Horacio gained recognition for his work on immigration specifically for the LGBT community. Horacio became a University of California President’s Postdoctoral Scholar, which allowed him to pursue an academic career at UC Berkeley as a tenured professor.

“I was a well-known academic,” Horacio says. “But it was a lot of pressure to be successful.” Horacio was under constant stress, and when he was hospitalized for 10 days after an unusually high fever led to an embolism, he knew he was at a breaking point.

“I was suffering from depression and anxiety, alcohol abuse, and joblessness,” said Horacio. “I had bad experiences living on the streets and emergency shelters on Skid Row.”

Horacio came to Union Station in December 2014, and life has improved “100% beyond expectations.”

Today, Horacio has an apartment of his own, job prospects and is focused on simplifying his life and relaxing.

“When you feel down and you’re homeless, you need a tough spirit to survive,” says Horacio. “Sometimes, you survive with the help of others. I will forever be thankful for the life-changing work of Union Station and its amazing staff!”

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