Once Homeless…still Stable at HOME
We love the opportunity to provide our supporters an update on residents about whom we’ve posted via Pathlight HOME’s blog and social media. How are they doing now? Are they still progressing along the path from homelessness to a changed life? What does that look like?
For James, whose story we first shared in March 2020, a few months after he moved into our Restore Program at Maxell Terrace Apartments, life looks much calmer and more stable. In fact, he feels his days might seem boring to an onlooker. Yet, he’s not bored at all!
“Things have changed a lot for me [since he’s been in Restore],” James says. ”I’m a bit more financially stable. I don’t get into trouble. I feel cared for and I still appreciate living here. I’ve come a long way from living in a tent.”
This man who “went from king of the hill to the bottom of dirt” is content now to live in his efficiency apartment, pay his rent and bills, work with his Case Manager Audrey Sandford (whom he praises to the hilt as “an awesome lady”), and chat with several friends he’s made nearby. He is extremely proud of the rebuilt relationship with his daughter, a graduate of Johns Hopkins University who lives in Baltimore, and can’t wait to meet his new granddaughter. As he reminisces about his two and a half years of living in a tent in the woods, he doesn’t know how he ever survived, especially with his health conditions. He is still grateful for the Hope Team, a program of the Health Care Center for the Homeless, and that they guided him to Pathlight HOME’s Restore Program.
With referral assistance from Audrey, James was finally able to obtain his disability benefits in November 2020. Having been previously denied these benefits three times, he had pretty much given up hope of that ever happening. “Money doesn’t solve everything, but it sure does help,” he says.
James is now proudly paying his rent and monthly bills through a checking account, his “first one in many, many years.” He is happy to pay rent, as with all the support he receives from Audrey and the staff, “It’s a steal!” As he reached Social Security retirement age this month, he plans to apply for those monies instead of disability, in order to garner the benefits of the many years worked in his profession.
No matter the source of his benefits, the most important thing is that James now has the stamina and desire to do what he needs to do to live a changed life, and not just to survive. He says he feels calmer and “doesn’t need much.” If that’s not continuing on the right path, we don’t know what is!