“I never thought I would be in need,” says Mr. C. “I was always able to find work, pay my bills. I helped raise four children. I had a house, a car. I had pride.” But as is often the case, life can change in a flash.
“While doing maintenance work during the ice storm of 1993, I slipped and badly hurt my back. The pain cost me my job, and new work was hard to come by because of my injury. No job meant no income and soon enough, no home.”
“I initially came to Bread for the City’s medical clinic for help managing my back pain, but the stress of being homeless and the constant worry – it was too much.” Thus, a proud 49-year-old man wept in the arms of his doctor. Homelessness often takes a serious mental toll.
Thankfully, Bread for the City could help. They assigned Enoch a social worker to offer guidance. Their legal clinic helped him secure Social Security Disability Income. They enrolled him in their food program and also connected him with a therapist. But he still had no place to call home.
Early last year, they encouraged Enoch to enroll in their Housing Access Program, which helps DC residents navigate the complicated affordable housing system so that they can more quickly find a home. He did, and was soon on the wait list for dozens of buildings. Then, in February, a unit opened up with his name at the top of the list. His application was approved. After years of waiting, he is ready to move in. Bread for the City will even connect him with resources for donated furniture and housewares. It will be a new beginning.