Joe’s Story. He is 59 years old.
I spent some time in the service. I served in 1972, 1974, 1977, and during my final year in 1981, I was a chef. There are still days I wish I was able to retire from the service, but I was too stubborn, hard-headed, when I was younger. I was homeless for a very long time. I was cycling through homelessness and rehab for a drug and alcohol problem. I found myself traveling around, living in Fort Wayne, Ohio, and South Carolina.
Eight years ago I was blessed with my daughter. That is when I knew I needed to change. I had my ups and downs, but found that I could do it. My daughter needed guidance and a positive role model. I wanted to provide and show my daughter that her father was a positive impact in her life. I have custody of her now. She is my priority, so I had to let my addiction go.
The transition was hard, but with my pastoral support and church, I found that I was able to accomplish things in my life that I did not know I could in the past. Even now when I feel I am at my lowest I look up to God and ask Him for His advice. He has always been there for me. Looking back now, I found that it can be done with Him, no matter how old you are.
She smiled big,
She smiled wide,
She knew her father would be there for her to provide.
She showed me hope,
I showed her love,
I received all my strength from my Lord above.
Time has changed,
I did too,
I will continue to grow and prosper too.
This story originally appeared in Facing Homelessness in Fort Wayne, a publication of The Facing Project that was organized by Lutheran Social Services and the Office of the Mayor in Fort Wayne, Indiana.