Scott was steadily employed for twenty years, but then he lost his driver’s license and had to ride public transportation to work. The fluctuating times of the bus route caused Scott to be late some days and he was terminated from his job. Struggling to find another job, Scott was forced to use all his savings and found himself on the streets. He remained homeless for a year and a half.
“Being homeless is a terrible place to be. No one wants to help you when you are homeless,” Scott stated. However, Scott did find help at Homefull’s (formerly known as The Other Place) shelter. After meeting with a case manager, he was assessed as being a viable candidate for a new permanent supportive housing program.
In September 2007, on his birthday in fact, Scott entered into housing at River Commons apartments. In partnership with Montgomery County and DMHA, Homefull provides the supportive services at River Commons.
“It’s the little things you don’t think of,” Scott explained about the joys of having a home, “like waking up and having a bowl of cereal at my own leisure or shutting a door and having complete silence.”
Once at River Commons, Scott was referred to an employment program partnered between Homefull and Goodwill Easter Seals. Scott met with an employment specialist and went to a Goodwill Store weekly to earn money and be trained. Shortly after, he was able to find full-time work at bd’s Mongolian Grill at The Greene. Scott has been there for two and a half years now, and has even been promoted.
“I am grateful for the job I have now—they are hard to find. But I have to keep goals,” Scott said. Some of his future goals include getting a job with health insurance and saving up to get his license back. Also, Scott would like to get a home in Kettering. “I understand these programs are structured for us to move on. And I want to get my own place so I can get a dog,” he explained.
Scott faced the challenges of not having reliable transportation or a permanent address, which made it almost impossible for him to find solid employment. With the help of his case managers, Mark and Tony, Scott is in the process of moving back into mainstream society while residing at River Commons.
In October 2009, Goodwill honored Scott with a Participant of the Month award. He received a cash prize and a plaque. In April 2010, Scott was again honored by being selected Employment Independence award winner at Goodwill’s Annual Awards Celebration.
Scott’s story is a perfect example of how the mission of Homefull is lived out in the lives of clients every day. Through education, services, and advocacy, Scott found a home and personal success. He modestly says, “I just took advantage of everything they had to offer and did everything they asked of me.”