In March 2020, Brent W. was living in a tent under a bridge. His vision for the future was slim and he “didn’t really have anything to look forward to.” Once coming to CRR services, he was able to get housing at New Hope Housing’s Dale Carnegie Location. As he settled in to his new place he realized that he now was wanting to do something better with his life. Reaching out to his CRR team he asked for help finding a job.
Now, in March 2021, a whole year after first finding CRR, he has found a job with a CRR partner, Mortenson Construction. With his newly earned income, he is ready to repair his credit and works to build the life he wants to live. Brent now has a vision of what he wants his future to look like. He wants to become an entrepreneur and open his own business! He stated, “without CRR I wouldn’t have anything to look forward to, nothing to live for. Now I do.”
Vernon S. describes his life prior to coming to CRR as “miserable.” He couldn’t imagine a future of success or even stability. Once finding CRR, Vernon has been able to take advantage of all the services offered. He gained stable housing, found employment within the agency, and is even taking classes to obtain his GED! Vernon is an employee that the whole team at CRR feels comfortable going to and asking for a hand.
Now, Vernon is able to see a future that he is excited for. When asked where he sees himself in 5 years, he said, “I plan on helping someone else the way CRR helped me.”
Steven Watkins enrolled in the RRH program in August 2019. He was housed in October 2019. Mr. Watkins is, and has been since his enrollment in the program, gainfully employed at Memco Construction. He is a model client. In July of this year he purchased a 2006 Harley Davidson model truck. He works hard and is doing well. He has told me in the past that this program saved his life.
Anthony Antoine has been housed since January 2020, since then he has interviewed for several jobs, but couldn’t work them because he needed a more reliable mode of transportation. He reached out about getting a bike from CRR and CRR was able to get him a bike and protective gear. Now he is able to keep his job and get to work on time. Mr. Antoine’s goal is to get his trucking license to go back to driving trucks and he is well on his way.
Sandra Little enrolled in the RRH program in July 2019. She was living at Star of Hope. She was housed in November. On November 8, 2019, she and some other RRH families were selected to participate in Fox News 12 Days of Christmas. The 12 Days of Christmas “surprises” a family with a house full of furniture and home goods during the 12 days leading up to Christmas. However, due to parking and delivery difficulties, she was removed from the list. The Coalition for the Homeless was going to offer 1000.00 dollars as a consolation gift, but Nikki wasn’t having that. She and I wrangled with the coalition, for weeks, and were able to secure an apartment full of furniture for her and her son from Exclusive Furniture, and a 1000.00 Gift Card from Walmart. She bought a microwave, some home goods for her apartment, some clothes and shoes for herself and her son, and some groceries. She was very happy and extremely grateful for the furniture and the assistance.
Cedric K. is a 45 year old, divorced African-American male who currently resides in a half way house in central Houston. Cedric is from a military family and was born in Frankfurt, Germany. He moved to the United States with his family when he was an infant and grew up with his grandparents. When Cedric was 9 years old he began to smoke marijuana and before long it became “my best friend”. For 36 years, Cedric smoked marijuana on a daily basis making poor decisions about his education, family, relationships, and employment until he was arrested for possession in July 2015. One of Cedric’s probation conditions was to participate and successfully complete Outpatient Drug and Alcohol treatment at Career and Recovery Resources Alternative Program. Cedric participated in group and individual counseling for 6 months and was able to halt his marijuana use while developing healthy coping skills and relationships with counselors and peers in recovery. Cedric has reconnected with his brother whom he has been estranged with for many years and his brother came to support Cedric when he made a brief public presentation on behalf of CRR this past summer.
Cedric credits the program and his counselor with giving him his life back. Cedric completed a certified training program and is now a Recovery Coach and has been employed for the last six months at the Sobering Center in Downtown Houston, helping others to find their path to recovery. He is finally experiencing what it means to be happy.
Barbara W. is a 51 year old Caucasian female who entered outpatient treatment through a unique collaboration with the Harris County Drug Court that provides a one year continuum of treatment (residential through Aftercare) for clients with severe drug problems and extensive criminal justice involvement. Barbara’s parents both had problems with alcohol, so it was no surprise that she began drinking alcohol at 17 years old. She slowly began to experiment with other drugs but managed to exert some control over her use until she was 37 years old and suffered a terrible car wreck that took the lives of her mother, father, husband and two infant children. She also, was severely injured and disfigured in accident. At this point and for the next 12 years, Barbara’s use of cocaine and other drugs deepened and her normal life unraveled resulting in an extensive history of treatment failures and over eight arrests for offenses ranging from possession to prostitution.
Barbara volunteered for the drug court initiative to avoid a lengthy incarceration and through the drug treatment group and individual counseling she received at CRR she has regained her sobriety and worked through her losses and grief. She has obtained employment and her own apartment and has reconnected with family members and five children she had long since lost contact with. Her recovery is a true miracle and she has become a changed woman.
Michael lost his job months ago and has been behind on his rental payments since October 2019. Through the help of the SSVF program and other agencies, Michael is now working full time at a car dealership and is regaining stability. As of June 12, 2020, Michael will be current on all expenses and will be able to maintain himself fully.
Michael came into CRR in November 2019 under the RRH program and had zero income coming in. Michael and his wife could not afford their rent and relied solely off of SNAP benefits. Michael attended the Amazon job fair hosted at CRR and was hired. He is now making $17/hr and can maintain his rent.
David is a Veteran who had been out of work due to having trachea surgery. He did not receive much income to pay rent and other monthly expenses. After working with our employment specialist on his resume and interview prep, David was able to successfully land a job and is now able to maintain financial stability.
Dashia’s children were taken away from her and recently she has lost her job due to COVID-19. She has gone into rehab to show evidence of her regaining stability through sober living. Because the client is trying everything to regain custody of her two children, SSVF is willing to assist the client with enrolling into the LVN program at HCC starting in Spring 2021. She will also enter forklift training in hopes to work part-time while attending school.