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Becoming Homeless Unexpectedly — Meet James

James, a senior resident at SEASONS at Compton and a former actor and model, never thought he’d become homeless. He got caught up in the foreclosure crisis after refinancing his home into an adjustable rate mortgage. Before he knew it, the payment was far more than he could afford. He tried to work with the bank to modify the loan, but they refused. The bank foreclosed on his home. He took what few belongings he had, got in his car, and then realized he didn’t have anywhere to go. He lived in his car, learning how to survive from other homeless people he met. He learned where he could get food, where to get clothing, and where to park without fear of being towed. It wasn’t an easy time in his life. “There was a time when I was staying in my car that I realized I stank,” he said. This caused him to question his sanity, but he came to conclusion there was nothing wrong with him. He just needed to find help.

“My father used to tell me 'The easiest thing for a man to do is to give his word, and the hardest thing for him to do is to keep it,' ”James said. “I was having a hard time keeping my word.” When he was homeless, he had a lot of time to think about this lesson from his father, and he knew he needed to make some changes for the better.

He eventually found assistance from Westside Center for Independent Living. They referred him to LINC’s SEASONS at Compton where his application was accepted. He feared the property would be run-down and fifthly like other apartments he’d been offered when he was homeless. “When I saw SEASONS, I was so impressed,” he said. “It’s beautiful, and the staff is friendly and warm.”

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