Louis, 54, says his key to success is just that – a key to the door to his first apartment after many years of being on the streets.
“My goal is getting the key and putting my feet inside the door,” he said. “My goal is to stay in from the rain and everything else.”
With a roof over his head, Louis can find work and help out his 28-year-old son who is also homeless. “I want him to stay out of trouble,” he said. “He’s still young.”
Louis became homeless after a divorce and loss of a job. He said he has gotten by on food stamps, general assistance and meals from a church in Gilroy. Before receiving shelter at EHC/LifeBuilders a month ago, Louis slept in parks, in office parking lots, and under a bridge. When it was too cold outside, he would stay at the Gilroy National Guard Armory.
He’s willing to accept any job, but has worked in landscaping, food processing, steel work and in the fields. Born in Mexicali, Mexico, Louis’s family moved to the United States when he was young. He started working in the fields near Gilroy when he was just 6. “We all did,” he said of he and his siblings. “We had to.”
In spite of his difficult childhood and life on the streets, Louis believes that each day of living is a blessing. “As long as you can open your eyes, walk the land and eat, you’re all right,” he said.
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