One of my best memories of working in HOPE and SafeLot, is also one of the first.
The first person to ever apply to SafeLot, and the first to become a client, was John. He was an older gentleman, who has been living in his van, and the streets for about 25 years. John is a very personable, talkative, and the interesting man. John stayed with us for our first 6 months of opening the SafeLot program. We spent every evening and moment talking. He is someone who always has interesting life stories. We were eventually able to get John a housing voucher that also allowed his dog and cat.
Both if his pets meant the world to him.
John rarely ever asked for assistance and he would give/help other clients and random homeless people on a daily basis. John became our first successfully housed client in the SafeLot program. I was even able to help him find new furniture, all over Boulder county. And I was able to help him move in and set up his new apartment. This was just two weeks before Christmas as well. We assisted him with dinner and groceries for his first couple weeks in his new apartment. I had called him on Christmas Eve to invite him to a Christmas dinner.
I knew he did not have many family left, so he was thrilled to spend the holidays with all of us who had become like his family. And now, one year later, he still refers people in need to HOPE. He stays in touch with us ever since, and has even been interviewed by news stations to spread the word of what we do here at HOPE.
Assisting John is still one of the most rewarding experiences I have had here at HOPE. And he was only the first of many more to come.