From Living Under a Bridge to Living Under a Roof
The Hale Wilson Story
Before applying at Anawim Housing, Hale Wilson was living under a bridge and begging for money on the freeway. ”I was addicted to methamphetamine and alcohol, and was suffering from depression and anxiety,” comments Wilson. “When walking down the street, people would cross over to avoid me. When approaching an intersection, people would lock their car doors, when they saw me coming.”
Anawim’s Shelter Plus Care Program gave Hale stable housing for the first time in many years. More than that, the program gave him a home where he felt safe and secure. “I no longer had to worry if I would be rousted by the police, or attacked in my sleep.” Having this security enabled Wilson to begin to address the issues, which caused him to become homeless in the first place.
He went into treatment for his addictions and began psychotherapy to address his mental illness. He also received his GED and went back to college. Better still, at school, he met the woman who would become his wife. In August of 2010, the couple was able to purchase their first home together.
On September 23, 2011, Wilson will celebrate six years of recovery. The mental illness he once suffered is practically non-existent. He earned his Associates Degree in Human Services, and is working on his Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work. I am very fortunate to be working at Central Iowa Shelter and Services, where I serve the very same population that I was once a member of,” comments Wilson.
Wilson‘s story demonstrates the value of the Shelter Plus Care Program. “I could not have had the success that I have had without Anawim’s support in the beginning.”
There are many others out there like Wilson, who, if given a chance, can turn their lives around, and become functioning, contributing, members of their community.