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“I Never Thought I’d Become Homeless”

Just a decade ago, Andres and his wife were living comfortably in a rented townhome in the San Fernando Valley. He had been working for 12 years on a movie studio lot in a what he thought was a stable and long-term job. But then his wife became ill, and he was laid off. Shortly after, his wife passed away, and he was no longer able to pay the rent. In fact, he lost nearly everything he owned.

A friend allowed him to rent his garage for a while, but soon, Andres was homeless and living in his car. He had trouble finding a stable job that provided enough income to get back on his feet. He finally found a job, but then he faced his own health issues. He began to have unpredictable seizures, so he could no longer drive and once again, he was let go from his job. The seizures were being caused by cancer.

For nearly a year, Andres lived on the street – Skid Row to be exact. He learned the shelter system quickly, but he says that’s no life for anyone. To add to the difficulty, he was undergoing chemo and radiation therapy at USC Medical Center. His doctors were concerned about possible infection since his immune system was so weak, but Andres had nowhere else to go. Finally, a social worker at USC Medical Center referred him to the MLK Recuperative Care Center. At last, he was able to rest a little easier as he continued the cancer treatments.

While at the care center, and Andres was encouraged to apply to live at Mosaic Gardens at Willowbrook. He was so grateful to be approved. “It’s so beautiful,” he said. “And my new apartment has everything I need – refrigerator, stove, pots, pans, bed, sheets. I had just a few pieces of clothing. I couldn’t believe my eyes.” He says he’s grateful for the Welcome Home program that funded these home necessities.

Andres continues his cancer treatment, but now he has a clean, quiet, healthy place to rest between hospital visits. He continues to receive support from his case workers, and he enjoys participating in LINC Cares activities such as BINGO. He doesn’t know what the future holds for his health, but he feels fortunate to finally have a roof back over his head.

Welcome Home