The first time Stephen experienced homelessness was when he was 12 years old and was kicked out of his house. From there he spent years on and off experiencing homelessness. “I have been homeless a lot over the years,” Stephen shared, “I lost numerous apartments while trying to help others.”
When asked about the feeling of such experiences, he remarked, “It made me feel powerless. I felt like people didn’t really care and felt as though they could help, but wouldn’t.”
Stephen first connected with Pathways during the summer of 2013 while he was incarcerated. After his release, with the help of Pathways, he moved directly into an apartment, and has worked with Pathways ever since. “Working with Pathways has been a rewarding experience in numerous ways. I’ve met a lot of truly kind people.” Since 2013, a lot has happened for Stephen, but he maintains a sense of positivity. “It has been both a struggle and a blessing.” Stephen had to leave his first apartment post-incarceration due to a bed bug infestation, and lived with a friend in motels for a year before moving into his next apartment in Shelburne. He stayed there with a friend until they had to move.
Despite all of life’s struggles, Stephen is the kind of person who doesn’t let challenges get him down. A self described optimist, Stephen always tries to look at the bright side of everything and count his blessings.
Stephen has now been in his current apartment since March 2023. He appreciates its accessibility, and has begun to furnish the apartment with new chairs and tables, which helps the place feel like home. When asked about his overall experience with Pathways, Stephen said, “The people at Pathways have always been helpful, courteous, and respectful. The service coordinators I work with are always willing to bring me to vote, get my meds, take me shopping, or wherever I need to go. They are always willing to help, and I truly appreciate that.”