Our YMCA Supportive Housing Campus provides a place to call home for 140 men and women who were once homeless or at risk of homelessness. Each of these residents have stories of resiliency, hope and determination for what life has in store for them. Each month one resident shares their story with us:
At 76 years old, John feels like his life has been given an “encore” thanks to the support he has received at the YMCA Supportive Housing Campus.
John, an Air Force veteran, came to Y-SHC in January 2018 through a referral from the Veterans Administration. (Of our 140 current residents, 32% are military veterans.) He had been living in Oklahoma, but the break-up of his marriage and a devastating flood left him without a home of his own. For a couple years, he relied on the friendship and hospitality of a neighbor; but in 2017, when his health began to fail, he feared he had come to the end of his life.
In the spring of that year, John received a surprise phone call from his daughter and son-in-law. They told him they were working on a plan to bring him to Des Moines, where he had lived many years before. John will never forget that this life-changing phone call came on Easter Sunday. While some might view that as a mere coincidence, John sees it as evidence that God was taking a hand, leading him to his own “rebirth” with the help of family and the VA.
Since moving back to Iowa and taking up residence at the Supportive Housing Campus, John’s life and health have improved “almost 100 percent.” His apartment suits his needs, and he enjoys being part of the community of residents and staff. He’s playing the guitar once again and feels well enough to contribute his time and talents as a performer. A life that John thought was almost over has, in some ways, just begun.