“My goals are to save up for an apartment and get my mind ready to stop being afraid. I want to make a job into a career, stay in my apartment, and be happy.” – Ron B.
Ron lived with his family in Chicago until he was nine years old and then he was placed into foster care and ended up living in Peoria.
He lived in and out of foster homes until he became an adult. When he was 23, he moved back to Chicago to reunite with his biological family. However, it didn’t work out the way he had planned.
“My family is the streets,” says Ron.
In prison twice and homeless on and off since 2009, today, Ron says, “I’m ready to take my life back.” “I accept responsibility for my actions and I want to move forward with my life but it’s hard to move forward with a criminal background and previous evictions.”
“I said to God, ‘Please light my path so I know you’re with me.’”
Ron’s path ended up at Franciscan Outreach.
At Franciscan Outreach, Ron is working on moving forward with his life. He has a bed each night, three meals a day, regular meetings with his case manager, access to support groups, employment assistance and part-time volunteer work experience. He also has access to resources that provide specialized services, including primary and mental health care.
“They see I’m trying to help myself,” says Ron. “You get out of here what you put into it.” “There are perks to being at Franciscan Outreach.” “They get you prepared for work and responsibility.”
Ron has experience working in different trades, including roofing, flooring, janitorial, housekeeping. He’s proud of the fact that he’s a fast learner.
Each week, Ron meets with his case manager. “My case manager is helping me to get an ID, find a job, housing and a transportation pass,” he says.
“I very much appreciate Franciscan Outreach and what they’re doing to open up a window of opportunity for me,” says Ron.
Ron B. is a part of the Franciscan Outreach Mobile Gallery – A Portrait of Homelessness in Chicago.