SAFETY EXIT

Michael’s Story | Homelessness Prevention & Intervention

“For the homeless there is no sense of belonging, security, identity, or roots, and emotional well-being is an abstract concept for many that was lost long ago.

I have attempted to be a scribe here for the souls that rarely have a voice.

It is often awe-inspiring to listen to dreams, stories, and opinions of those who are in the midst of the struggle for survival and realize there are still dreams in those hearts.

– Michael Williams, Inspirational Stories of the Homeless

In April of 2017, Michael Williams came to CRC in need of shelter. Today, Mr. Williams lives in his own apartment in North Park, San Diego and is looking forward to new beginnings!

“I am so grateful for Community Resource Center being there for me. I can’t describe the miracle of being in an apartment after once sleeping on the cement next to a transformer. That was my unfortunate reality and it was really really scary every single day,” said Michael. 

Mr. Williams joined CRC’s Food & Nutrition Program to receive emergency food and try to find shelter. Michael was homeless at the time and had previously been living at a shelter in Escondido, but was unable to find a stable home.

Just a few years ago, Michael worked as a public adjuster for an insurance company. After getting sick, he was forced to leave his job and receive disability assistance, as he was unable to work. Michael had money saved from his job, but eventually, he ran out of money and could no longer afford his apartment. Michael’s illness made it increasingly difficult to walk. He lived in a shelter for some time until he had to leave and sadly had nowhere to go but on the streets in Escondido.

Michael said, “The hard part about being homeless is that you really have to be a ghost. You have to arrive after everyone goes home and leave before anyone comes back. It’s about learning how to be invisible, which is hard to do.”

Michael said that he found a place to sleep next to a transformer in an alleyway so that he could keep warm at night. It was urgent that Mr. Williams find a safe place to live in order to survive.

While riding the bus one day, Michael was speaking with another passenger who told him about the Food & Nutrition Program at CRC. Michael decided to make the trip and came to CRC for nutritious food. While he was here, Michael learned about our Encinitas Opening Doors Program and found out that he could qualify for housing assistance as a veteran. Mr. Williams was previously a member of the Marine Corps and served during the Vietnam War.

Mr. Williams began working with Shakera, a CRC Case Manager, and together, they developed a plan to find a permanent place to live by applying for Veteran Housing Assistance. A couple months later, Michael found an apartment in North Park, San Diego, and was even able to write a letter to AMVETs to obtain the furniture and items he needed for his move. Not only did Michael get a home, but he also worked really hard and was able to get his car back up and running.

Mr. Williams is passionate about educating people about homelessness and the effects of alcoholism and violence in families and has written several books, available on Amazon.  Learn more about Michael’s books

Michael said, “There’s a whole population of homeless people out there for one reason and one reason only. They got sick and they ran out of money. And that is exactly what happened to me.” 

Michael is continuing to work with Shakera and CRC to create a budget and continue to reach his goals. He plans to take classes and continue writing his books, while finding safety and peace at his new home.

Watch Michael’s Video: