Lou was barely surviving due to an undiagnosed illness and homelessness. Every day was a struggle and death was a constant risk.
Life wasn’t always so hard. For seven years, Lou lived with his brothers. Even though he couldn’t afford his own place, living with his brothers provided a safe place where his sons could visit and have their own room.
But it was hard to rely on someone else and not have his own place. “Going from my own home to [living with my brothers] was challenging,” Lou shared. “After that, I really never had a place to call home.”
Homelessness felt like a trap that Lou was stuck in for years, with no way out. He describes it as a prison of not looking forward to anything. He felt stuck and was depressed. He felt like he had no control.
Then Lou found Goodwill’s Housing and Essential Needs (HEN) program. He first received basic supplies, like toilet paper and toothpaste, and a bus pass that helped him get around.
The HEN housing team quickly got Lou housed. Once Lou was housed, he could focus on his health. He found a doctor who could diagnose and treat his illness.
Lou can now focus on things that bring him joy, like gardening. He has adopted two kittens named Bonnie and Clyde. Most importantly, he has reconnected with his family for the first time in years.
Lou wants to get a job. So, he started volunteering at SpokAnimal animal shelter to give him some work experience that will help him get a job in the future.
The encouragement that Lou has received from his team of staff at Goodwill has literally changed his life. “Thanks to Goodwill, he is able to experience success,” Tracy said. “This builds confidence and it changes his story. Pretty soon, success is more frequent than disappointment – and resilience grows.”
Lou says, “I feel like I have a home now, I really like it here. Thank you for helping me to take control of my life again, always believing in me and being so incredibly supportive. Without Goodwill, my life would be lost in every way.”