Felix came to the LSS office in Garden Grove. We gave him food and clothing and helped him pay for a storage locker for the next 30 days. Everything he owned was in storage, and without money to pay the rent, all his possessions would have been sold at auction.
It was really a bad time for him. Felix was homeless, depressed and couldn’t figure out what he needed to do to get back on his feet. “I had never been homeless, and it was a very frightening time for me,” he said. “I didn’t want to live on the street so long that it would become something from which I could never escape.
Our LSS therapist listened to his story and the more she listened; the more Felix trusted her. Many people would not make eye contact with Felix when he was living on the street. But he was treated differently at LSS.
The next week, Felix volunteered at LSS to express his gratitude for the help he received. His caseworker talked about what needed to be accomplished for him to find work, a place to live, and also how his hopeless outlook needed to change.
He was referred to the One Stop Center for weekly updates on job openings. LSS helped prepare his resume and gave him tools to prepare for job interviews.
LSS also gave him a 30-day bus pass so he could get to work interviews, and also provided a one-night emergency motel voucher. That offered Felix a safe place to sleep, so he could sleep peacefully and be rested for his job interviews.
After a month of volunteering, and looking for employment, LSS wrote a letter of recommendation for Felix to work at St. Olaf Lutheran Church. The church—where LSS has an office—allowed him to sleep on the church’s property.
He worked odd jobs for the pastor, and then began working at Wal-Mart two months after coming to our center. In addition, one of the LSS volunteers rented him a room. Finally, he had a job, a place to live and a sense of hope for the rest of his life.
Where is Felix today? He has worked for over a year in a furniture warehouse. He is the property manager for St. Olaf Church, and has become a member of the congregation. Felix provides yard work for seniors in the church, and still volunteers at LSS.
When he first came to LSS, Felix saw the Three Es of LSS: Embrace, Equip and Empower. He wasn’t sure what those words meant. But that has changed.
“Today,” he says, “I know exactly what that means. I have been empowered by LSS to be the most awesome Felix I can be.”