Scott Murphy

June 29, 2017
Julia Weegar

A Portrait of Homelessness in Chicago | Franciscan Outreach

Scott has been homeless on and off since 2009.

“My goals are to find a full time job and an apartment.” – Scott Murphy

 Scott grew up in Danville, Ill. and is the youngest of five children. He went to Illinois State University and took a few business classes.

Scott’s father and sister passed away and he had a very difficult time coping with their death, which led to a substance use disorder.

Although he has had a number of jobs – as a maintenance worker, steel fabrication worker, a security guard, cook, dish washer and a factory worker – it has been challenging for Scott to retain employment and an apartment.

In 2009, he ended up living in a tent community in Champagne Ill. Scott’s family helped him to find and stay in different living facilities, including a YMCA in Chicago. However, he was unable to remain living there and became homeless again.

In 2014, Scott found Franciscan Outreach. At first, he began eating at the soup kitchen, accessing the showers and getting his laundry done. Then, he began staying at Franciscan Outreach’s shelter on Chicago’s West Side.

“I have a safe place to sleep each night, I have three meals a day and I get my mail there,” says Scott. “I also see my case manager every week. He helped me to get my ID and a social security card.”

At Franciscan Outreach, Scott receives job training and employment opportunities. He also gains experience through part-time volunteer work at the shelter. And, he has access to resources that provide specialized services, including primary and mental health care and substance use disorder treatment.

“I had given up thinking about work. Now, the work I’m doing at the shelter has helped me to start thinking about working again,” says Scott.

“Franciscan Outreach has helped me to think more positively,” he says.

“If this shelter hadn’t been here, I don’t know what I would have done,” Scott says.

Scott Murphy is a part of the Franciscan Outreach Mobile Gallery – A Portrait of Homelessness in Chicago