A New Life Ahead for Randy
“Once I finish barber school and get started, I want to come back to the shelter to help.” Things have finally turned around for former guest Randy who is now housed and excited for his new life ahead of him. Last year, Randy’s life was a lot different. His family relationships were lost and he was experiencing homelessness for the third time in a few years.
Randy’s first experience with homelessness occurred early in his adulthood. He lived with his mom until their relationship became strained. Randy left her house to live on his own, but with very little resources and no support network, Randy found himself experiencing homelessness and turned to Men’s Shelter of Charlotte.
“I’ve been homeless a few times,” says Randy as he recalls living on the streets as well as in our shelter. We learned that during his experiences, Randy struggled with mental illness.
His last visit to our shelter resulted in Randy connecting with needed resources and obtaining income through disability, as his mental illness was formally diagnosed. Through our rapid re-housing program, one of our Housing Specialists helped him move into housing, which included a year’s rental subsidy to help him gain better financial footing.
One of our Housing Retention Specialists continues to follow-up with Randy to monitor and encourage progress. He has since enrolled in barber school and looks to supplement his income once he’s graduated. Because of Randy’s commitment, he was chosen for a small scholarship, which provides dollars to use toward his education. The dollars were made available from a generous donor whose late husband was on the board of Men’s Shelter of Charlotte.
Since being housed, Randy has re-united with his mother, who recently fell ill, and repaired relationships with family members. He now plans to move in with his sister as he continues rebuilding his life, caring for his mother, and pursuing his dream of becoming a barber.