When I first met Karen Foster, she came to my office with two other residents from the Jonquil Hotel. They had come to introduce themselves and share with me some of the concerns they were having with living at the Jonquil Hotel. Karen was calm in her demeanor and very thoughtful over of every word that came out of her mouth.
David Hamilton is a U.S. Army Vet who saw three tours of duty in Operation Desert Storm; but nothing shook him as much as seeing his daughter Destiny, 11, nearly shot by gang crossfire.
“Both times were very close,” David said, of the two shooting instances that pushed him to make an “emergency move” from their old Roseland neighborhood.
Being unemployed at the time and without enough savings to secure another apartment, David, 56, and Destiny found themselves at Good News Partners’ New Life Interim Housing. New Life is a 36-bed transitional housing facility for homeless single women, women with children, and intact families through the HEARTH Act. New Life operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and offers comprehensive support services in a communal setting.
“It was a rough start making the adjustment to different rules you’re not used to,” David said of their initial experience. “Not being able to come and go as you please; all the different kids and personalities. I think it was more of an adjustment for her than for me.”
That was this single-father’s story when he first entered New Life in July 2016. Now, however, he is preparing to soon move into the brand new 56th Infantry Apartments in Humboldt Park – apartments built specifically for homeless Veterans and their families.
“From the first day I saw my apartment, I’ve been decorating it in my head,” he said.