I followed in my father’s footsteps, working in the IT field from a young age – a field that eventually brought me to Silicon Valley. I also earned several undergraduate and graduate degrees in the business and tech fields.
When the dot-com investment bubble busted in the early 2000s, I found myself without a job. After that, things spiraled downhill quickly - my wife of 23 years left me, I began drinking, and quickly lost most of the people and possessions dear to me, including my home. Without motivation to improve my situation, I found myself spending my days and nights at the Fremont train station.
But things are different now. Abode Services outreach workers from the HOPE Program came to visit me often at the train depot. They helped me apply for housing opportunities, and eventually, I was accepted into a permanent supportive housing program and will continue to receive services from Abode.
Words can't describe the pleasure I had from recently celebrating my 66th birthday in my own apartment. I am so happy there: I get along with my neighbors, love the ambiance, and enjoy spoiling the property manager's dog with doggy treats. Heck, tonight I'll be watching the NFL on TV, instead of watching the trains go by.
My advice to other people who are struggling is: "Don't give up. Look at me - I'm a survivor. Continue to think positive, and if an opportunity presents itself, consider it and give it a try."