Eugene's Story

Eugene had been living on the streets of Philadelphia for almost 15 years when he suffered a stroke. “My brother brought me [to Boston] for medical services,” he said. “I lived with him but found it necessary to move.”

Eugene’s first stop was the Salvation Army, where he stayed for over a year. It was during that time in which he recovered from his stroke and ensuing paralysis, but then received some more bad news. “I never knew I had diabetes,” he said. “I wasn’t eating right or taking my medications and that led to my stroke.”

Eugene’s medical issues were exacerbated by 25 years of drug and alcohol abuse. He credits the Salvation Army for keeping him clean and sober for the last seven years. The Salvation Army also referred him to HomeStart’s Cambridge office, where a Housing Search advocate took him through the process of finding a permanent home. “For six years I worked with my housing advocate, and then found a place in Arlington.”

Since finding a permanent home, Eugene has been able to rebuild his relationship with his family, including his two children. He has also been staying in recovery and sees everything in a positive light. “I believe [my kids] have learned, from my experiences, to stay away from drugs and alcohol,” he explained. “My youngest is now going to college for studies in social work.”

Of his experience with HomeStart, Eugene said, “HomeStart has not only helped me get off the streets, but to get the streets off my mind.” He added, “I am so thankful for HomeStart for opening the door for me to be in my own home and sober. I ended up on the streets from neglect of responsibility and addiction for 25 years. Now HomeStart has taught me how to be responsible and accountable.”

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