Fred’s Story

Fred moved into a three-bedroom apartment at the end of February 2014.   Fred had lived at Harrington Hall for over a year, and for the last several months worked full time at a warehouse leaving the shelter by 5am to get to work on time.   Fred has had some substance abuse history, stopped using cocaine/crack in 2006 but has struggled with alcohol ever since. He has had years of sobriety at one time but more recently, relapses every few months or so which often jeopardizes his employment.   Fred relapsed on alcohol soon after he moved into housing.  Fred moved into his apartment first and didn’t have roommates for about a month or so.  He reported that he “missed the shelter” and struggled with those feelings because he thought they were silly.  He said even though he didn’t speak to many people there he knew people were still around and it was comforting.   Fred detoxed himself and got back on track and was able to talk his employer into keeping him.  Fred felt since this detox was so difficult, that would keep him away from relapsing again.  Fred was not interested in counseling or seeing a doctor and felt he could keep himself sober based on how horrible he felt while detoxing.   Fred reported feeling better, he got roommates and they seemed to get along pretty well.  After about six weeks, Fred relapsed again for about 1 week.  This time, Fred wasn’t so lucky had his employer let him go.   His two roommates, very concerned about his well being, asked to speak to him...

Pam’s Story

To see Pam today, you would never know the ordeal and the difficult hurdles she has faced. She is positive, upbeat, cheerful, and eager to talk to you about her journey to housing. But Pam describes her past self as passive, timid and with a very low self- image, especially as she compares herself to her college-graduate twin brother. After years of an alcohol addiction and “always trying to get away with things,” Pam found herself homeless at the age of 61. With no income and the additional barriers her age presented her in finding employment, she entered emergency shelter in House of Hope CDC’s Operation First Step shelter for women. There, she says, she had to stand on her own two feet. Accustomed to seeking others to do things for her, she now had to learn to navigate systems herself, advocate for her own needs, and take her life into her own hands. Her case manager Lynne, was a support and cheerleader for her, but would often hang back and give Pam the opportunity to come out of her shell and work toward her own accomplishments. As Pam took charge of her own life and her sobriety, her self-esteem and self-confidence grew. She also knew that she couldn’t keep relying on others; if she was going to get housed, she was going to have to do some real work.   While at First Step, Pam enrolled in the House of Hope Boutique Sewing 101 program. This supported employment program provides a six week training program where participants not only learn a craft-centered skill, they also learn the soft...