Co-Authored by Loretta Randolph, The Beacon
Bill had worked for most of his life and worked hard; he didn’t know any other way. However, everything changed when he was injured on the job, working in a warehouse unloading large deliveries. After more than a year of tests, screenings, scans, and more, doctors told Bill he would never be able to work again; he had fractured a disc in his lower back.
This was in August of 2013. Soon after, Bill applied for Social Security Disability Income (SSDI), and lived on his meager savings in the meantime. Month after month, the approval of his benefits was nowhere to be found. Eventually, with his savings exhausted and with no family in the Houston area, Bill lost his home.
At night, Bill would sleep in abandoned houses. During the day he hung out at METRO bus stops in the downtown area. “My biggest challenge was to not lose hope!” Bill said. Thankfully, in early 2016, he was connected with The Beacon, a day shelter located in downtown Houston, where he received a housing assessment. Bill refers to The Beacon only as his “saving grace.” Once he was connected there, he began to utilize other partners of The Way Home, such as COMPASS, The Harris Center, and Salvation Army Red Shield Lodge for help obtaining his SSDI benefits, outreach, and emergency shelter while he waited for housing.
Not only did Bill not lose hope, but he gained it anew when he was finally approved for disability income benefits, and then again on February 16, 2017 when he moved into a beautiful new apartment of his own. Thanks to The Beacon and other partners of The Way Home, Bill has found what he calls his “new beginning!”