Retired carpenter and truck driver. rECENTLY HOMELESS SINCE HIS TEENS.
"I left home when I was 14, so I've been homeless on and off pretty much ever since. I was living with a lady in Seattle. Well, let's just say, we went our separate ways. After she left, I couldn't really afford the rent by myself. So that put me on the street. I wasn’t sleeping in a doorway. I went up into the hills, up above Golden Gardens Park. I lived there and I was still working. I had a nice little tent set up there. I am not exactly sure how long, about 11 years. It was a long time, but I was working.
The church over here by the library, St. Luke's, they fed us every Friday. One day some ladies came in and said that the Lutheran Conference Housing Alliance was going to be opening a free clinic and a shelter. I was thinking ‘oh, a shelter. I’ve tried that and I'm not staying in a shelter.’ Who knew? They found all kinds of things wrong with me.
They told me to put my name on a list. I signed it. Well, three years later, I had forgotten about signing that paper. I'm just sitting in St. Luke's eating and the same woman comes up to me and says, 'you’re in.' Just like that. I was the first one in. I just walked over here. The lady said, 'well, what room do you want?' I go, 'I don't know, top floor, southwest corner, I want the view.' She showed me a room and it was completely furnished with everything. It had pots and pans. Had towels, had dishes, silverware. I mean it had everything. The only thing I had to move in was myself and some clothes. It was April 23, 2013. I wouldn't change a thing. It's fine just the way it is. They have dinner here every night. Me, I prefer to cook. I like to cook. Good health, clear head, food, clothing, and shelter. As long as everybody has that, they shouldn't complain…
The neighbors around here didn't want it here. But I think they're okay with it now.
I'd rather live in Seattle than anywhere else. I like the weather, I like the people. When I lived on the street, people that lived in homes out here, they'd come by and see if I was okay, or if I needed an extra blanket, or one lady used to bring me a thermos of hot soup every night because she knew where I stayed. And people making millions in this city are pretty generous. They donate a lot to places like this."
Home is a subsidized apartment for the formally homeless. Compass Housing Alliance provides shelter, affordable housing and support services around Puget Sound.
We are #SeattleNeighbors. Seattle needs more homes, of all shapes and sizes, for all our neighbors.