John L. - Housing
John L. had been homeless for over 26 years. After being incarcerated for drunk driving, he was left with nothing. Upon his release from prison, he took a bus to Houston and found himself homeless and alone. He built an encampment, cared for his eight cats, and collected cans for money. While it wasn't an ideal situation, it was home, and so he refused housing assistance from many agencies. In 2009, his encampment was torn down, and he was left with nothing yet again.
At 69 years of age, John realized that he finally needed some help and was ready to “go inside.” John reached out to the HPD Homeless Outreach Team and was referred to SEARCH. His case managers at SEARCH, in collaboration with our community partners, helped John navigate the complex and often overwhelming process of applying for, obtaining, and moving into permanent housing. In less than a month’s time, John was able to move into an apartment of his own.
John admits that it has been an adjustment to live in a home after so many years of living on the streets. He is finding new ways to stay busy and productive and is grateful that he will never again have to sleep in the rain.