Before being enrolled in BSS+ through Family Eldercare’s Rapid Rehousing Program, Chris was experiencing homelessness–alternating between sleeping in a park and staying in an abandoned house. Chris had been homeless for almost 20 years, while working independently selling records to music stores around Austin. He relied on the network of people he knew around town who could provide him with short-term places to stay or emergency cash, but always paid it forward by helping others who were staying on the streets.
Chris’s altruism and free spirit were evident from the time he came into contact with Family Eldercare. He was adamant that, although he wanted to be housed, he also needed to continue helping other members of his community. He enjoyed being an active participant throughout the duration of receiving case management services and directed his housing stability plan to address his specific needs and goals.
Chris’s financial and housing stability plan involved overcoming several obstacles, including a lack of ID and not receiving Social Security benefits. With the assistance of Family Eldercare’s rapid rehousing services and BSS+ direct client assistance funds, he and his case manager obtained his birth certificate and a state ID. Getting identification was an essential first step towards Chris applying for housing, as well as applying for and receiving Social Security Income and health insurance. After two months of working with Family Eldercare, Chris moved into his own apartment at Lyons Gardens with the help of BSS+.
One month after being housed, Chris is still adjusting, yet, is happy to finally have stable housing. He continues to spend time in his old neighborhood, and still helps his friends. He dreams of one day starting his own non-profit to provide barrier-free housing and supportive services for people experiencing homelessness.