I was 40, living in a shelter, all my possessions were in two bags, so I figured, let me start taking some suggestions.
James, originally from Berkeley, California had been dealing with alcohol and drug abuse since he was 14. He moved to DC when his troubles were catching up with him. He never had a problem getting jobs but struggled to keep them due to these issues. He was always living for the next adventure. Unfortunately, it landed him in prison.
About a year after he got out, James decided to try to take his life seriously. He went to several organizations and began getting clean. That is when he met Jesse Washington, our Director of Affordable Housing Communities Program. Jesse observed him working hard to get clean and build a good life for himself. “You never know who is watching. I was making strides with my recovery and work. Jesse gave me a chance. Christmas Eve, 2009, I moved into Samaritan Inns. I woke up in my own place.”
He had his own place before but what he really was looking for was structure. Samaritan Inns gave him that. “Rules, parameters, and a ‘dag-gone’ inspection every day. It was tough but it created a lot of great habits that I carry today.” Along with the structured environment, he appreciated the opportunity to develop his social skills and negotiating skills.
In 2012, James moved out of Samaritan Inns to marry the love of his life, with whom he has 2 sons. He now is a licensed minister and uses his experiences to teach ex-offenders job readiness. “This is the most fulfilling time of my life.”
I thank Samaritan Inns. This was a launching pad for me. It gave me the structure I needed as a man who was growing into what God wanted me to be.