Since entering housing through SAVE, Inc. more than a year ago, Steve has reconnected with and made new friends, adopted a cat and picked up his old passion: reading. He looks forward to joining a health club and volunteering at a local organization. All of this from someone who was homeless for 17 years.
Steve says that not only has his health improved significantly, but his mental state is much better, as well. Below, Steve shares his story.
After high school in St. Joseph, Mo., I went to a Missouri university for four years. In my 20s, I successfully started, owned, operated and sold a business at a significant profit. I then became a regional sales manager for manufacturers in Philadelphia, Indianapolis and Los Angeles.
After paying my dues working directly for three manufacturers, I became an independent manufacturer’s agent for nearly 10 years. Up to this point, I had bought three homes and numerous cars, including three BMWs. My wife and I traveled at least twice a year.
However, my income dropped significantly when manufacturing moved to Asia. When my wife divorced me, I started abusing alcohol. My life began a downward spiral, culminating in homelessness and multiple rehabs. I slept under bridges and on the couches of friends, though I had cut ties with most of them because I was so ashamed.
Finally, I sought help through Swope Parkway Health Systems. My caseworker signed me up with SAVE, Inc., and after nearly two years on the waiting list, my caseworker received a call that a voucher had been made available for me. I was ecstatic to hear of this. This was like winning the lottery for me.
My life has been saved by this wonderful program. This is no exaggeration or hyperbole. The stressors of homelessness as well as the weather had taken a severe toll on my health, and I don’t think I could have withstood another winter. Besides severe back problems, I have a pulmonary disease, though I have never smoked.
Now, I can sleep through the night without fear, and my health continues to improve. Better still, I have pursuits that make me feel like a complete person. I wake up each morning so thankful for SAVE, Inc.’s housing program.