Peace, Love and Laundry

Jose Cropped

Shelter guest Jose came to Homeless Solutions in November 2023. Just two months before, he had to give up his home due to the rapidly increasing rent. Unable to find anything he could afford, he braced himself for the inevitability of sleeping outside. Jose couldn’t believe how he had gotten to this place. A few years before he had a good job working in mobile phone sales until his company downsized and he was out of work due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The day he moved out of his rental, he set up a tarp and a sleeping bag in the woods behind the laundromat where he was working part time, and that’s when he had his first stroke of good luck. A customer told him about 2-1-1. He called right away and was placed into temporary shelter (another stroke of luck) until HSI Admissions and Discharge Coordinator Jamie Apicelli called him with an opening in the Men’s Program.

And what a difference a few months make! Jose cannot believe he had initial doubts about coming to the shelter and is extremely grateful for the time he has spent at HSI. With our staff’s help, he was able to get his social security and retirement benefits, and secured a housing voucher. Jose has been taking online cybersecurity classes to further his knowledge and skill set.

He is truly a go-getter who doesn’t like to sit still. When Jose noticed the amount of daily laundry from the Warming Center, he volunteered to help out. Not only was his last job at a laundromat, but the trade runs deep as his uncle used to own a laundromat where Jose helped out when he was younger. Jose helps wash, dry and fold the sheets and towels so they’re ready for when Warming Center guests arrive. When he offered a suggestion about efficiency with the Warming Center pillows, Brianna, the coordinator, took it. Jose was so appreciative for the opportunity to be heard and valued. Having something to do in his downtime helps Jose feel like he’s contributing and helps him find peace. Our shelter staff also find it extremely helpful to have Jose take responsibility for such a large task.

Jose’s helpful and positive attitude helps encourage the other guests to stay positive as well. He says, “We all have our problems, but we have a bed, help and shelter here. We need to be grateful for that.”