We are bringing #GivingTuesday into December by highlighting some stories of our participants for the next three Tuesdays. Our first Giving Tuesdays features the story of Greg.
When speaking about his path to overcoming homelessness, Greg is quick to mention all of the people who helped him get to where he is today. For him, gratitude, a positive outlook, and a willingness to adapt to any situation gave him the motivation to keep going. While he tends to credit others with his success, it’s clear Greg’s hard work and positive attitude brought him a long way toward stable housing and meaningful employment.
Greg first came to Inspiration Corporation about 4 years ago, after a break up left him with nowhere to live. He found support in his employer, the owner of a furniture store, who not only helped him through his relationship troubles, but offered him a place to stay for several months until he could get back on his feet. It was there he learned about Inspiration Corporation’s programs, as well as the shelter where he stayed after putting his name on the wait list for housing.
While we often hear negative stories about the shelter experience, Greg maintained a positive attitude during his time there by reminding himself that even when things got tough, it was just temporary. He even recalls the friendships formed there. “There was a few of us in a little circle, a couple of guys. It was like we motivated each other,” Says Greg. “If this person loses a job we would try to tell him to come down here to our job, and we were always talking positive and stuff, you know, about the program and about getting ourselves together and all that”.
One of the purposes of our Housing Program is to help identify which benefits are available to each participant. Before hearing about the wait list, Greg says he didn’t even realize that he was eligible, having always thought that subsidized housing was only granted to women and families. Only a few months after putting his name on the list for Two Year Transitional Housing, he received word that his name was pulled. When his placement fell through for unknown reasons, Greg remained patient despite his disappointment. “That made me work harder, too, for myself and just try to stay on track until I get up outta there,” he says. “I’ve seen a lot of people leave because it didn’t come overnight for them.”
Once he was finally placed in an apartment, he realized the importance of having a place of his own. “It just was real nice. My family was happy for me. My kids could come over now”, he says. “It motivated me a whole lot to just stay on top of things and try not to never go back down to staying in a shelter.” After his time in the transitional housing program was up, Inspiration Corporation was able to help him transition into another housing program to make sure he did not fall back into homelessness.
He was also introduced to our Foodservice Training Program, where he was able to fulfill a long time dream of learning culinary arts, and he now works in the kitchen at a health food restaurant. He says the skills he learned through both of these programs have been invaluable in helping him throughout other areas of his life, and is eager to work toward his goal of someday becoming an Executive Chef.
While Inspiration Corporation was able to connect Greg with much needed resources, the staff here maintains that Greg’s efforts deserve much of the credit for his success. His case manager Sarah says, “I barely had to do anything. He is contacting people and he is taking care of his own business and that’s exactly what we want in the housing program, is that self-sufficiency.” Inspiration Corporation lends a hand to those in need and becomes their partner in moving forward. Greg exemplifies this when he says, “A lot of people just need a little boost. Everybody needs a hand for something, when you fall if you’re not right there to pick yourself back up.” He adds, “I have a lot of respect for this program because it helped me out a lot. I don’t know where I probably would have been If I wouldn’t have come here.”