I have lived what many would consider to be a gifted life. I’ve seen great success and benefit for my accomplishments. I’ve been the visual director for a major department store, I’ve run my own display, design, and decorating business, I’ve been a professional photographer, and the national visual coordinator for Disney corporate showrooms and tradeshows. My professional and personal life was all a dream come true...until it all fell apart.
Due to a life threatening health issue, hospital bills, an inability to work, and the loss of my home/work studio, I crumbled. This led to 6-7 years of homelessness, depression, and anxiety. A dear friend suggested I go to the LGBTQ center for possible assistance. The center offered senior assistance for those over 60. I met Michael Kelly (an amazing man) who connected me to LA Family Housing. And so started a long, arduous process of trying to find a safe and stable place to live. Through many ups and downs, through many hopes and disappointments, at last one day I got the call and was asked, “How would you like an apartment of your own in a brand new building?”
It was not an easy process, but finally the day had come – on January 9, I moved into a jaw droppingly beautiful, spacious apartment at The Fiesta. I was expecting something like a small college dorm room studio with a tiny mattress on the floor, but I wasn’t even close. When I walked into my unit, I was without words. I can’t begin to tell you how unbelievable and extraordinary it was to walk into this contemporary living space. What I can tell you is that in the afternoon we had a tenant meeting in the lobby. As the team spoke, the message rang out…”You are home now,” “You are safe.”
My eyes welled up with tears as the realization sunk in…this is my home, I am safe from tweekers, the streets, and domestic abuse. And I had the comfort of mind in knowing that my future had security and direction. The years of insecurity had passed and a new dawn of hope and optimism had emerged, a future of possibilities (previously out of reach) lay before me. All of our lives face challenges in our different paths, different forks in the road, different outcomes to life’s tragedies. But, without hope our paths can seem to lead nowhere. Yet with the compassionate efforts of LA Family Housing and its supporters, some of us can now see that path forward to a better place.
Marilyn Monroe once said:
“Sometimes good things fall apart so that better things can fall together.”
And it was Nelson Mandella who said:
“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”
Better things are ahead and the seemingly impossible task of solving this humanitarian crisis, which is the homelessness epidemic, is not yet done. But, LA Family Housing and The Fiesta are taking a significant step towards making the impossible possible and to bring the better into our lives.