“I was only supposed to be gone a week! What could happen in a week?” Reyes exclaims. Originally from Texas, Reyes moved to Indiana several years ago for work. Six months ago he took a week’s vacation to visit his family in Corpus Christi. Deciding it would be less expensive to drive, Reyes loaded up his truck and began a journey that would ultimately completely re-route his life.
Reyes made it as far as Temple when his truck broke down. Four hours from his destination, Reyes was stuck. The cost of the repair was more than he could afford, as was a ticket on the bus back to Indianapolis where he started, so Reyes spent his money getting himself to next biggest city; Austin. He had only the belongings he’d packed for his vacation, nowhere to stay, and very little money. “I ended up in the streets, at the ARCH.” Reyes had never been homeless in his life, always having worked and able to afford a roof over his head, but now he was unsure what would become of him.
Born in Alabama, Roy moved to Texas when he was 5 years old, settling in a small town on the rural outskirts of Austin. Roy attended school, graduated and went on to training and working in the world of auto mechanics, got married and had a son.
In 2008, Roy decided to move to Austin, putting in for a transfer with his job. His brother offered him a place to live while he got settled in Austin, however all did not go as planned. “For one reason or another”, he says, “the transfer didn’t go through and my brother went back on his offer of letting me stay with him. I was suddenly without work and without a place to live.”
Taking it all in stride, Roy decided he would live on what he had in the bank until it ran out, taking a forced vacation until he went back to work. Eventually the money ran out, and again Roy found himself without a place to live and without a job. Looking for a way out, he went to the day labor office in search of any work he could get. Though he was able to get work, he describes his experience as terrible with “very little pay, and no respect. I made just enough to go back the next day.”
William is a well-spoken and insightful man, has lived in Austin several times but moved to Austin most recently in 2008 from his hometown of New York City. Struggling with drugs and alcohol and unable to hold a job, he had been in and out of rehab and staying at the ARCH for several years when he says he grew “really sick and tired of doing the stuff I was doing.” Deeply concerned about his deteriorating health, William stopped using drugs and alcohol and enrolled (for the second time) in case management services at the ARCH. William worked with his case manager, Heather, to begin the application process for SSDI and to identify housing opportunities. When a housing opportunity became available through Caritas at Skyline Terrace, he jumped on it.
Sam was born in Houston, Texas in 1968 to Freddie and Elijah. He is the eldest of his sister, Tammy and brother, Adrian. His story is one of hard work, discipline and perseverance. Education and training have always been important to Sam, and has been a key motivating factor to getting him where he is today. He attended Memorial Drive Elementary School, Francis Scott Key Junior High School, and graduated from Barbara Jordan High School for Careers in 1987 where he also participated in Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC).