Ernest and Rosanna grew up together in the same neighborhood and were childhood sweethearts. They were together for 40 years till an aneurysm suddenly took Rosanna’s life five years ago. She collapsed and died in Ernest’s arms during one of their regular date nights.
The sudden loss shook 63-year-old Ernest to his core. Resulting grief and depression brought him to a point that he was no longer working. The home they shared for forty years had been willed to Rosanna’s daughter upon her death and Ernest felt he should not continue staying there. After a year couch-surfing with family members, he ended up living in his car until the pandemic started. During the height of the shutdown, Ernest helped deliver meals for charitable organizations and stayed in County sponsored hotels but ended up back in his car again.
After five years living mostly in his car, Ernest decided it was time to create a new life for himself. This past July, he walked into a large grocery store and asked for a job. With no computer skills to apply online, he went back every day asking to work. Other employees helped him fill out his application and in August 2022, he was hired as a door man.
Ernest first learned about the Community Resource Center (CRC) through his sister and came for help to find housing. He utilized CRC’s Rapid Rehousing Program for help with the deposit and rent for an apartment in a senior complex and moved into his apartment on October 13, 2022. Ernest is overwhelmed with gratitude and feels extremely fortunate. “I never had my own apartment before!” Help with the first few months for rent allows him to save money for future expenses. He’s thankful CRC helped him learn to plan and save for the first time in his life.
According to Ernest, “when you’re down and out, and willing to work, call and make an appointment with CRC. They’re good-hearted people who will help you find resources. They look ahead for you.”
Today, Ernest says he enjoys going to work each day and making people smile. He looks forward to “becoming a righteous old man.”
Every one of us has our own journey to trod and sometimes we run into challenges we cannot overcome alone. CRC is there for anyone that asks for help finding their way forward.