Dave was 52 years old, a severe alcoholic and homeless when he first came to StreetLight. He would attend our outreach dinner for the homeless. Everyone liked Dave, but he was always so inebriated that he could barely stand up. We would make sure he had something to eat and coffee to drink, and then after he sobered up a bit he would head back to his tent. Then one night his life dramatically changed. Dave was hit by a car and almost died. Immediately, he was rushed to Fairfax Hospital’s Trauma Center where he remained on life support for seven days. After regaining consciousness, Dave lay in his hospital bed and cried out to God. He wanted to change his life. After completing physical therapy, Dave needed a stable, clean environment to live and fully recuperate. StreetLight was blessed to move Dave into our transitional unit in the men’s medically fragile apartment. Although still weak, Dave settled into his new apartment and began to thrive. Every week, he improved so remarkably that he seemed like a new person. Dave received in-home respite care, case management services, daily pastoral counsel, and assistance with practical needs. The results were amazing! Dave grew spiritually, maintained sobriety, received reinstatement of his disability benefits and actually began cooking for the other clients living with him. Dave then successfully transitioned into one of StreetLight’s Permanent Supported Housing units and is living comfortably — always looking for ways to help others
Angela is a single mother of a 6 year old son. Her life unraveled early last year when she lost her home. Fortunately, Angela had been attending StreetLight’s out- reach dinner on Wednesday nights and asked for help. StreetLight was able to provide immediate shelter in a hotel room so that Angela and her son would not have to sleep on the streets. To make matters worse, Angela’s car began to break down and the repairs were extensive so StreetLight provided a donated car to ensure that Angela could maintain her employment. During this time, our Director of Supportive Services, Gabriele Tibbs, worked with Angela to facilitate acceptance into a transitional housing program. Fortunately, Angela was able to keep her job during this traumatic ordeal. Today, Angela gives thanks to God for His provision and strength during a very traumatic time in her life.
When the staff at StreetLight first met Gene, he was home- less. Prior to becoming homeless, Gene worked as an appliance repairman. One day, however, he became very ill and missed a few weeks of work. Loosing significant pay, Gene could not pay all his bills the following month. Unfortuately, he chose not to pay his car insurance and as fate would have it, he got into a car accident shortly afterward. Consequently, his license was revoked until he could pay for the damages caused by the accident. As a result, Gene also lost his job since he needed to travel from job to job for work. Also, an alcoholic, Gene hit bottom after becoming homeless two months later. He had lost his apartment, his car and his license to drive. Completely penniless and overwhelmed with feelings of hopelessness, Gene came to StreetLight’s outreach dinner for the homeless one night. He just wanted a good meal. But, he listened carefully to our message of hope that night and accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. Afterward, Gene entered recovery classes offered Thursday nights at our facility and was able to quit drinking. After moving into our Men’s home, Gene worked with a mentorship team that included a case manager, job coach and volunteer mentor, and Gene overcame issues that led to homelessness. He also worked with one of our board members to negotiate a payment schedule with the insurance company so that his license could be restored. Once his license was restored, Gene obtaining a full-time job as an appliance repairman again. Gene worked hard, saved his money and bought a car. Now he is living clean and sober, and independently. In fact, Gene recently married the woman of his dreams, and supports his new family. Gene continues to be an active member of his church home and gives back to the community every chance he can.
Nathaniel was living behind a WAWA, undergoing dialysis treatments three days a week. Nathaniel worked all his life until suddenly his kidneys began to fail. After being hospitalized for two months, the doctors told him that he would not be able to hold a job anymore. Fortunately, Sentara Hospital social workers helped him apply for Social Security Disability benefits, but his benefit check is less than $1,000.00 per month. After the hospital released him, his income was not enough to pay the rent and, consequently, he was evicted. Where can anyone live for less than $1,000.00 per month? After the eviction, Nathaniel could find no other place to live that he could afford and consequently was forced to live on the streets. During that time, Nathaniel told us that the only security he knew was the taxi service (paid by Medicaid) that would come to pick him up three times a week to take him to the dialysis treatment center. After suffering for several months while living on the streets, trying to cope with a very debilitating disease until one day a passerby told him about StreetLight. Now Nathaniel has a comfortable home, access to in-home nursing care services and the support of people who care. In a recent interview, Nathaniel exclaimed, “I don’t think I would be alive today if weren’t for StreetLight. I thank God that they were able to give me a home.”