Michael, born on an army base while his dad was serving in the airforce, moved around a lot as a kid, spending most of his childhood between Los Angeles and Texas. After serving in the Marine Corps for 13 years on the Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan, he returned to the US and picked up his studies in Austin. And when he received a job offer in Los Angeles, he saw it as an opportunity to go home.
Michael hopped on the plane to begin his new life, and the next thing he remembered was waking up in the ICU at UCLA 11 days later. An injury on Michael’s foot had become infected, and the infection had spread to his bloodstream. Michael spent the next year in the hospital and recuperative care, going through six surgeries to save his leg and foot. Finally, Michael was better, and he was discharged from the hospital – with nowhere to go. He was out on the streets.
Through a referral from the Department of Health Services, Michael was connected to LA Family Housing and began his search for housing. It wasn’t long before he received word that he would be able to call the Crest Apartments home.*
“I feel safe and secure living at the Crest Apartments. It has case management on-site, a day room, a full community kitchen, computer room and 24 hour security for our safety. LA Family Housing staff help out a lot. I am thankful to LA Family Housing for helping me get back on my feet and off the streets. I’m thankful for the time and effort that they give to each and every one of the tenants at the Crest Apartments. LA Family Housing does not and will not give up.”
Now Michael is completing an Entrepreneurship Program at Pepperdine University and hopes to open his own art studio, offering art classes to the community. His room is covered in beautiful paintings and detailed skateboards, demonstrating his natural talent for art. For now, he shares this talent with his community at The Crest, offering art classes to the other residents, often combined with another passion of his: cooking.
“I teach an affordable cooking class because I want to help out and give back – I don’t like seeing people without food. I don’t ask for much, I just ask that people leave with a smile on their face.”
*The Crest Apartments are owned by Skid Row Housing Trust with supportive services provided on-site by LA Family Housing.