Kevin is the kind of person you can meet once and feel as if you’ve known forever. A self-described laid-back individual, he has spent most of his life as a Vermonter. Kevin was raised in Burlington, and although he moved away several times, he always found his way back to Vermont. Kevin joked, “Even when I lived in California, I was on West Vermont Street.” Kevin became homeless for the first time in 2009. With nowhere to go and challenges living unhoused, he ended up incarcerated for eight years.
“That journey was a long, rough trail, but being on the other side feels so good,” he shared. He first heard about Pathways during a meeting with his counselor while incarcerated. “My counselor mentioned Pathways, and I knew then that I wanted to join the program,” he recalled. Kevin connected with Pathways three years ago, transitioning directly from incarceration to housing. As part of the Department of Corrections Program, he was directly connected to housing and had Pathways along the way for support. “The first person I met was Lauren. It was an excellent first encounter. She had everything prepared for me—my apartment, a bed. Whatever I needed, Pathways was there for me,” he said. The move into his apartment straight from incarceration was a big adjustment. “Moving from jail into society and an apartment, it took me a while to get used to things again.”
Despite his challenges, Kevin maintains an unwavering sense of positivity. “I have had some bad times in my life, and it took me a long time to get here, but that’s okay. I’m here now.” Kevin is in his permanent apartment, a cozy space filled with family photographs, his grandchildren’s artwork, and many plants. “My favorite part of my apartment is the whole thing. I am pretty well settled and couldn’t ask for much more than what I have—a nice clean place to call home. This is it, and it’s great.” Kevin enjoys going fishing and on bike rides. He also loves the variety of community activities available on those days when he wants to step outside his cozy apartment.
When asked about his experience working with Pathways Vermont, Kevin replied, “Find them, connect with them; they are a great program with great people. They will help you all the way through as long as you want the help. I’m thankful I met them.”