“Your work must be very challenging” is a sentiment often expressed when I tell people where I spend my days. But the truth is – there is a privilege to working at a nonprofit aimed at ending homelessness which can make my days much easier than others’.
The difference is in the experience of walking around San Francisco. When many people go to work, they will encounter several people without homes sleeping on the sidewalk. However, what I see when I walk to work are the people whom I know to once have been homeless, but now have homes. I have the privilege of seeing our successes and knowing the stories behind them.
Lenny is one such person. This is his story:
My name is Lenny. My son had cerebral palsy, he could not walk or talk. My wife and I tried many expensive surgeries so that he could have a life. We lost our son on August 27, 2016. After my son passed away, we were in grief and in deep debt from the medical expenses. We became homeless. I became an addict as a way to cope with our many losses.
Despite my mental state, Project Homeless Connect welcomed me and did not give up on me. Today, I believe you are angels sent to earth to talk with people. You gave me the resources I needed to get clean and put a roof back over my head. You gave me hope and motivated me. You never made me feel like I am a bad person. My wife and I now have a home, we receive counseling, and we are okay again. We love you for getting our lives back on track after tour tragedy. We want to say thank you.
You may never notice the people whose lives your donations have helped, because once a person is no longer homeless, they are simply another neighbor heading home from work like yourself. They just might be Lenny and his wife, going home for dinner.
In honor of thousands of people who, like Lenny, will come to Project Homeless Connect this year for support, resources, and motivation, we want to say thank you.
Chief Executive Officer