Mayor of Apponaug

When I first came to House of Hope CDC, I was tired of living on the streets and wanted

to turn my life around. I’m the guy you’ve probably heard of who six years ago was

crushed by a garbage truck when the dumpster I was sleeping in was emptied in before

I could scream for help. I was a broken man – physically and emotionally. But I knew I

couldn’t go back to the life I was living, so I took all the steps needed to survive – I went

through the emergency shelter, I moved into a supportive housing program called

Conway at House of Hope, and eventually I moved into my own apartment thanks to

House of Hope CDC.

manny

Living at the Thomas Wilbur Homestead, part of House of Hope’s permanent housing,

has changed my life. The property is beautiful. We cook for ourselves, clean for

ourselves, and have our own space. I feel like I am on my own. It’s a little scary; it’s a lot

of trust. But we still have an amazing support system.  I have purpose in life and look

forward to each day. I take pride in my apartment, but also in my neighborhood. Come

by – you’ll probably see me out there raking, shoveling, watering the plants, sweeping

the sidewalk, chatting with neighbors while I help unload their groceries, or walking to

local shops. Every year I put up all of the holiday decorations and Christmas lights.

 

Earlier this year, I got a letter of thanks from the Apponaug Area Improvement

Association thanking me for what I do to keep this neighborhood – my neighborhood –

looking good. I’ve somehow gotten the nickname “Mayor of Apponaug” but really, I’m

just being a good neighbor. I’m glad that I’m finally at a place where I can give back to

the community that has given me so much. That’s what makes House of Hope special –

they didn’t just give me a house, they gave me a community. And I’m proud to be a part

of that.