Mr. Q had been homeless for 13 years after being released from prison in 2004. Most often, he slept on the street downtown near The Beacon, rarely accessing shelter. He began working with Otha and Fernando at Avenue 360 Health & Wellness about four years ago, but getting into housing was still a struggle, in large part due to his criminal background and struggles with substance abuse.
Mr. Q is grateful to Avenue 360 for presenting him with opportunities to get back into housing and credits them as the keys to leaving homelessness - but Mr. Q also worked hard and took a lot of initiative to help himself too.
When he moved in last week, he said that he was excited, grateful, and plans to continue to put his life back together. He has started going to AA and is applying for jobs.
We asked Mr. Q what he would say to people to help them understand homelessness better and he said, "Anybody can be homeless. It often takes empathy and guidance from other people to get back on your feet. That's why I'm so grateful to Otha and Fernando."