Juan grew up with what he calls a “rowdy state of mind.” A native of Altadena and the brother of the late Rodney King, Juan was always in and out of trouble. At the age of 17, he was offered a professional contract to play with the New York Yankees, but declined – he says his life was too far down the wrong path.
Struggling with substance abuse and alcohol addiction, Juan found himself bouncing between shelters in Los Angeles. After years of neglect, his mental and physical health faded. It wasn’t before long that Juan was living on Skid Row. When he found out he had an advanced stage of cancer and was given six months to a year to live, he wasn’t fazed.
“I just didn’t care,” recalls Juan. “I didn’t want to live.” Juan knew he needed to change, and that’s when he found Union Station. With the help of a caring case worker and her 'coordinated entry system' team, Juan was able to find the services he needed to put his life back in the right direction.
Juan remembers how the staff worked around the clock to make sure it was a safe place for him and all residents. With three hot meals a day, clothing assistance, and mental health services, Juan has benefited in all aspects of his life.
With consistent care and treatment, Juan’s cancer is in remission. He was able to get an apartment of his own with the help of Union Station. “What you see today is a miracle,” Juan says with pride. “I love my life today – I want to live.”
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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