For many years, hope and a future had no meaning for me. Day in and day out I struggled to believe in anything. I escaped through drugs because reality wasn’t something I wanted to face. One bad decision after another landed Lisa and me rock-bottom on the streets and our newborn son taken away from us.
"Reality hit me hard…What would a future look like homeless and without my son?"
I vividly recall being told, “If you want to get your son back, you need to stop using substances and secure safe, permanent housing.” CPS offered Lisa and me quite a few recovery and parenting support services. I was determined to get my son back, so I put my name on the waiting list for housing and began the extremely long, difficult road to becoming clean and sober. Unfortunately, I was alone in the decision to get clean and become a better parent. Lisa continued in her addiction -- ending our relationship.
I was on my own…or so I thought. After a two-year intensive outpatient treatment program and mandatory parenting classes, I finally secured permanent housing in one of Housing Hope’s apartments. Although seemingly basic, this was an enormous accomplishment. I felt so proud!
"A safe and secure home changed my son’s and
my life forever."
A month after moving in to my new home, CPS granted me custody of my son and we were reunited. Another step in the right direction and one that ignited hope in me. For the very first time I began to imagine what our future could be! Without Housing Hope and their support and guidance these last few years, I would not have my son today.
While in the Homeless Family Services program with Housing Hope, I began experiencing some medical issues. I learned that I have two chronic health conditions. With my history of escaping through substances, it greatly tested my recovery journey. Thankfully, Kateri, my Family Support Coach, was there to encourage and support me. I was not alone. Together we focused on my goals, including providing a safe home to raise my son. I gained knowledge and routines to manage my health conditions, and I acquired skills and habits I needed to be successful as a tenant, father and provider.
One of my crazy dreams – before addiction – was to become an engineer. Kateri helped me connect with Eric, an Employment Specialist at Housing Hope. With his incredible coaching and support, I completed the Mechatronic Program at the community college. I am darn proud to have earned a 3.5 GPA throughout the program. Dreams do come true in real life – not just at Disneyland!
I am on my way toward accomplishing a significant vocational goal that will make it possible for me to have a living-wage job and ultimately lift us out of poverty. Several months ago, I would have never believed that was possible.
Housing Hope provided support throughout my entire journey and gave me numerous opportunities to rediscover hope and determine my future. My son and I have a home now: a great, safe place for him to play and learn and somewhere I can continue my studies.
Housing Hope and those who give to support parents and children like me and my son are a big part of why I have hope today. Thank you, from everything within me! Thank you for believing in me and working with me to create a brighter future for my son and me. That all begins with having a safe place to call home.
I encourage you to generously give to Housing Hope today! There are so many families out there, just like me and my son, who are searching for hope. Please give generously so that affordable housing, job training, and supportive services are available to those, like me, who desperately need HOPE that a brighter future is possible. Thank you!