Darrell, was a longtime resident of Sanford, and decided to see what else Florida had to offer. He moved to St. Petersburg and eventually came to Osceola County. During that time, he fell on hard times, which left him depleted of savings and relying on substances to cope. He eventually lost stable housing and began living in the woods. Darrell’s story is like many of those we work with experiencing chronic homelessness. He was living stably with a mental health condition, yet one traumatic event pushed him into homelessness.In search of a place to receive his mail, he discovered the Hope Center. Building a trusting relationship with Darrell took time, and in 2021, he felt comfortable enough to work with Jacob from Hope Cares on a path to housing. The path to housing is not quick nor linear for individuals experiencing chronic homelessness and you can learn more about that here.
Part of this journey, included becoming one of our first program participants in the Good Neighbors program. This program, generously funded by AdventHealth, provides opportunities for our neighbors experiencing homelessness and poverty to participate in day labor programs to begin working toward economic stability. While working with Good Neighbors, Hope Partnership provided bridge housing to ensure he was set up for success with a safe place to live. Darrell quickly became a valued presence at the Hope Partnership offices, actively contributing to events like Hope Cares Day, assisting in renovations to open Hope Commons, then undertaking custodial responsibilities at Hope Commons. If you attended our ribbon cutting last spring, you likely saw Darrell beaming with pride at the opening of the space.
Shortly thereafter, he was enrolled in Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH), leading to stable housing ever since. He now has an apartment in Orlando, and a case manager to help support him as he transitions from homelessness to housing. Additionally, the work experience he gained from Good Neighbors helped him secure a permanent retail position where he is currently thriving. We are incredibly proud of him and have learned so much from his experience.