When Chris moved off the streets and into his very own apartment a few years ago, he hosted Thanksgiving in his new home, cooking everything from turkey to mashed potatoes and collard greens for his friends and family, for the first time in his adult life. When Chris began planning for Christmas and New Year’s, he couldn’t help but marvel at the difference in his life since finding Pathways to Housing DC.

Chris has an extensive history of substance abuse, incarceration and personal trauma. His mother drank heavily during her pregnancy, which led to Chris being born with serious cognitive challenges. At age five, Chris’s parents passed away and he was placed in the foster care system before being adopted by a family in South Carolina. After a turbulent and abusive childhood in his new home, Chris ran away at age 17. The years that followed included a string of arrests, stints in rehab and nearly constant homelessness. Despite his desire to get clean and sober, Chris was unable to follow through with treatment due to his addiction and an underlying mental illness.

Working with his Pathways to Housing DC team, Chris is on the road to recovery. The team’s encouragement, support, and trust has allowed Chris to make some big life changes. The team worked with Chris to resolve his legal issues, and helped him find and complete a substance abuse treatment program. After reaching 30 days of sobriety, he presented his certificate to the team and said, “I know that I earned this, but I couldn’t have done it if you hadn’t continued to show up for me.” Chris knows the path ahead won’t always be easy, but believes that having a partner like Pathways to Housing DC will make it possible for him to set and reach his next goals.