Eric Byrd, Michael Blair, & Marion Carrington
These three gentlemen all arrived at our facility about the same time. They entered in the spring of 2012. In a lot of aspects their stories are very similar. They all struggled with large amounts of debt. Eric had driving offenses, Michael, pay day loans and Marion was dealing with past due bills from public utilities electric bills. They all approached their problems head on and with our guidance they have overcome their obstacles. Eric is now employed by VCU in the Transportation Division. Michael no longer has to borrow from high interest loan sharks and Marion owed no one when time came for him to move on. As a result of their hard work we were able to move them into a beautiful three bedroom home where they pay the rent and share all expenses for the utilities. Upon moving all utility bills had to be put in one person’s name, and that name was Marion Carrington. That’s right the same person who at one time owed back bills for utilities. He shared how happy he was to be able to get the bills in his name. They have lived in their new home since April and they have never been late paying rent or utility bills. What an amazing turn around this has been for three guys who never thought this could happen to them.
William entered our facility in April, 2013 and immediately began to better himself. We got him connected with one of our partner organizations, Focused Outreach Richmond and things have blossomed from there. In May, William became employed full time with a contractor at Dupont. He works 12 hour shifts and in a short time he has become one of their most dependable workers. This has led William to buying his own car and supplemented his saving account. In January we will start the process of finding William permanent housing and we fully expect he will be on his own by March. This entire process will have taken him 11 months and it shows how well our 12 month program actually works.
Anthony arrived here September 23 2013. Anthony’s journey is unique. He is a single dad and he was now away from his son. He has a full time job however his goal was to be with his son again. His son is with relatives and he is doing well, but Anthony really wanted them to be together. Because of his diligence and the help of LFS partnering with the VA we have secured Mr. Wooten a housing voucher. The reason for this success is the determination of a father that had fallen on hard times who refused to let hard times keep him from raising his son. We are so proud to have had the opportunity to help Anthony with this situation. The smile on his face now is so genuine and refreshing and it makes us feel good knowing we played a part in making good things happen for him.
Orlando came to our facility in August 2011 and stayed with us until October 2012. While here Orlando obtained employment and began taking classes at John Tyler Community College. He has earned a certificate in HVAC (heating and air conditioning) and this has led him to now working for Sutton and Clarke which manufactures equipment for Public Works, VCU, City of Richmond and surrounding counties. While residing with us Orlando was able to receive a housing voucher and in October 2012 we moved him into his own place. In October 2013 he signed his lease renewal. This lease was signed by him alone and he is now fully responsible for the rent due to his employment situation being permanent. When I talked to Orlando he could not believe that he had actually gotten to the point he could sign a lease. “When I came to Richmond I had a suitcase and $800. When the money ran out I found LFS and I am so glad y’all were here.” Orlando is now pursuing an Associate Degree in Human Services so that he can give back to those who have helped him. I expect him to succeed at just that.