There’s no one path to homelessness. As you can see from some of the stories below, any one of us could become homeless by a number of unexpected factors. This is not a simple problem and it doesn’t have a simple solution. We’re no experts and, like you, we’re here to learn. Hopefully these stories (shared by some of our charity partners) will serve as a starting point for discussing and exploring the issue of homelessness in America from the perspective of the people who experience it firsthand. Let’s take the first step together and give comfort where comfort is needed most!
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.
While caretaking his grandmother, Scott could no longer work after suffering a heart attack. After 18 years of homelessness, he’s moved into his own apartment and is happy.
Living in a car since a teenager, struggling to complete certification in major appliance repair, Robert eventually found work and permanent housing.
With degrees from Pitzer College, the recession hit and Rajali’s teaching position was eliminated. Suffering two strokes and dwindling work, Rajali could no longer pay rent and lost his home.
Having left a dysfunctional family home, Michael was living in an abandoned building as a teenager and experienced 40 years living on the streets.
High-functioning, employed and married, a fall off a ladder and chronic pain, along with pain killers and a history of alcohol lead to loss of his family and homelessness.
Losing his job when the recession hit and unable to find new employment, Manuel was suddenly homeless, living in his car.
Wheelchair-bound from youth, Keith was forced out of his apartment with little notice and, soon after, lost his job at a local college.
A kind foster family upbringing, a job he loved and impending marriage to his long-time girlfriend all went awry when a bad choice lead to a 16-month incarceration and a struggle to regain his life.
Offered a pro contract to play with the New York Yankees, Juan’s health and addiction struggles took him down a different path – living on Skid Row with advanced stage cancer.
From a happy, educated, middle-class family, Jason lost his apartment and experienced homelessness following the death of his mom and grandma.
A political refugee from El Salvador, Horacio became a respected, tenured professor at UC Berkeley, but stress, hospitalization and depression lead him to Skid Row.
A series of bad foster care experiences, molestation and health challenges found Don living on the streets for 16 years, but today has two children and owns his own home.
A workaholic laid off from his sales job, Dennis found himself homeless with a 7-year old daughter.
Bounced from foster home to foster home, David spent 30 years on the streets using drugs and alcohol but today is employed, sober and married.
Addiction lead to loss of his home, business and incarceration, but today Curtis teaches solar technology courses to former gang-involved and incarcerated men and women.
Homeless at age 16 with his mother and siblings, Kyle returned to school as the family began rebuilding their lives.
Danny is a former investment banker with a Master’s degree, experienced homelessness for one year after losing his job.
James was a resident of a neighborhood in Los Angeles. Lived there, shopped there. Enjoyed the community just like his neighbors. But issues with finances...
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