Faces of ACOF
The Faces of our Community
The Faces of our Community
Frank joined the ACOF community in 2006 and currently resides in the Westlake community of Los Angeles.
Frank was raised in a safe and modest home, but at the very young age of 16, his father passed away from a heart attack. His Father’s unexpected passing forced him to take over the family business and step up as the caretaker for his family. Years later he suffered two brain aneurisms and fell into a deep coma for several months, which required him to undergo thorough rehabilitation to teach him basic functions such as how to speak and walk. His recovery took nearly five years and extensive visits to the hospital for rehabilitation. Frank attempted to reclaim his life, but by that time he had fallen into a disastrous financial situation and found himself homeless. Frank states “I tried to put the pieces back together, but it was too late. I was left with nothing. I had no place to go.” His life changed completely and Frank found himself with the reality that his life as he knew it was no longer there.
After experiencing homelessness for three years, he was contacted by A Community of Friends. Frank states, “my prayers were answered and I finally got a roof over my head, I received permanent supportive housing!” Receiving keys to his new home was life-changing for him, “I was speechless, it was the most humbling moment of my life. My newfound home surrounds me in warmth and comfort, it was an opportunity I would have never experienced without permanent supportive housing. Now I have a chance to thrive, I am happier and healthier since I now have a peaceful, safe, stable, and comfortable environment to call my home. Now that I have permanent supportive housing, the quality of my life instantly improved.”
Frank is now extremely involved with various causes and organizations and continually advocates for the end of homelessness through permanent supportive housing. As a member of ACOF’s Tenant Advisory Council, Frank provides not only his personal experience with homelessness but his dedication and commitment to the mission and values of ACOF.
Margaret (Lisa) joined ACOF in May 2014 and currently resides in Hollywood. Lisa moved away from her home in Hawaii, leaving behind her family and friends who up to that point, served as her support system. After moving from Hawaii, Lisa became homeless as she developed a drug addiction and mental health condition. Continue reading “Margaret (Lisa)”
Robert Jones sat on a bench outside the courtroom, waiting to hear if he was going back to prison for the seventh time. But that day, on that bench, Robert heard a call from deep inside. He felt a desire to try the one thing he had never tried before — Continue reading “Finding Family and Forgiveness”
By Jasmine Roman — Throughout my life, I have always been in motion – from place to place, from apartment to apartment, from shelter to shelter, to finally a decent home where I currently live. In order for me to survive, I had to get used to letting go of the past and adapting to the “now.”
Demeiia left her suburban Chicago hometown of Evanston, IL for Los Angeles at 23 because she needed to change her life. Her story weaves through many pockets of our sprawling city – from Eagle Rock to North Hollywood to South Los Angeles and finally, The Jungle* – where she knew she would die.
Jasmine, her three brothers and her mother moved into A Community of Friends’ Vista Nueva apartments in 2011, breaking her family’s cycle of chronic homelessness. “We used to live in a shelter,” said Jasmine. “We’d have to be up by 5 a.m. and out by 8 a.m.
Caroline Havens was born in Nebraska and moved to the Los Angeles area many years ago. In July 1997, Ms. Havens became homeless when she lost her job due to an illness. She tried applying for unemployment, but was rejected because of her health issue. Unable to work a full day, she tried to apply for General Relief but was informed that she had to apply for unemployment.
Daniel Rivera left home when he was 18 and has been in and out of homelessness his entire life, spending time in Los Angeles, Miami and Orlando. Looking back, Mr. Rivera realized that his symptoms of mental illness first surfaced in high school and continued into college. He was depressed, developed social anxiety and was withdrawn.
Eddie Wormley, a lifelong Angeleno, was raised in West Los Angeles by a single mother who was an alcoholic. He became involved with drugs and the “street life” early – use of marijuana easily escalated into abuse of other drugs. In and out of juvenile hall, he eventually joined the Marines but continued his addiction.
As a child, John Chavis was subject to emotional and physical abuse by his family. This abuse paved the way for a life filled with depression and low self-esteem. The two things that kept him going were a love of writing and a love of art. It was his love of art that provided relief through his troubling road to recovery.