When Hector was five years old his parents made the difficult decision to uproot their lives in Jalisco, Mexico and move to Southern California in search of better life for their children. Their sacrifice paid off. Hector led a happy and stable life and eventually got his Associate’s Degree in General Education. He was a successful man, holding a number of different careers throughout his life. He began with managing health clubs, then transitioned to admissions work, and finally started his own LLC in debt collection.
This was what he was doing when he got the news that his mother passed away. Hector blamed himself for his mother’s passing. He felt that he should have done more for her and believed that he could have possibly saved her life. Hector quickly plummeted into immense feelings of remorse, shame, depression, and guilt.
He began to self-medicate with drugs, and slowly began losing everything around him.
For a year Hector lived out of his car, barely making enough money to afford gas. Then his car was taken away from him for having expired tags. He officially had nothing.
For the next two years Hector lived at a park in Los Angeles. One night Hector was attacked and robbed at gunpoint by someone he thought to be his “friend.” During the robbery, the very few items he had left that held any meaning for him were stolen. When discussing one of his lowest parts of his life he says, “Even when I was in a crowd, I would feel so lonely. There was no one there to help me.”
Hector knew things had to change, so the very next day he went to Homeless Connect where he was linked to LA Family Housing’s Bridge Housing.
Now, it has been eight months since he was living in a park surrounded by nothing but overwhelming depression and addiction. During his time at Bridge he has excelled in ways he never previously thought possible. He has worked closely alongside his housing navigator to find a place to live, as well as with LAFH’s employment team to find work. In addition, LA Family Housing has helped to connect him with legal aid in order to clear his tickets and acquire a new ID, social security card, and permanent residency card. Hector has also gotten clean and has no interest in returning to the drugs he was using before.
The future is beginning to look bright for Hector again. Hector has gone back to work. “I’m going to do whatever it takes to get housed. I’m literally cleaning toilets right now and I’m singing and smiling because that’s what I need right now.”
The last step is for Hector to find a new home. Hector emphasizes the importance of planning for the future including having his own home, finding a job, and pursuing various entrepreneurial projects.
Hector is extremely grateful for the stability, resources, and opportunities that Bridge Housing has provided him. In his words, “this place can give you everything you need. It’s up to you how you use it.”
Reflecting on the journey Hector has taken, he’s very positive for the future. “People ask if I’m ready to return to the life I had. But you can’t go back. I think life is three-dimensional. I feel like these past few years I’ve been living in a different dimension. I felt like I lost myself. But now I’m going on to my third dimension.”