“It seems insignificant but simply with a smile, we can change someone’s life. We can provide more than a home. We can provide a sense of belonging.
I never felt that I belonged. I know what it feels like to not have people that love you. That is one of the many things that can lead to homelessness. It can be financial or material. It can be burning bridges, or illness or isolation, or just not feeling like you are good enough.“
Chris managed SRO Housing Corporation Renato Apartments, responsible 96 units—60 of which are reserved for the chronically homeless and those who suffer from mental illness. He is soft-spoken, with soft brown eyes that brighten when he spots and waves to a resident walking past his office window. “I was unwanted and I was homeless as a child, from a very young age. Homelessness is not only not having a place to go, it is not having a place where people love you and care about you.”
Chris finds strength in his relationship with God, “I was lost in the wilderness. In my case, God was an integral part of finding who I am. I found a purpose for living. I forgot my own problems and learned to reach out to be beneficial to others. I see the pain and hurt of others. It is not all about me. I was able to overcome the hurt, the pain, the devastation that so many people carry. My relationship with God has taught me to forgive and to let go of the bitterness and anger.”
Chris found meaning in his work for SRO Housing Corporation, “When I get to move someone into a new home, I get to see a life being changed. I see people begin to feel worthy.”
His childhood pain informs his commitment to helping others. "To be honest, I simply didn’t feel loved.
I missed out on being connected as a family. That feeling inspires me to connect with others and to help them overcome as I was able to.” Chris started at SRO Housing as a Desk Clerk and rapidly advanced to a responsible position as Property Manager,
“I am grateful and yet, in my eyes, I have not achieved much. I am proud to be in a company where
I am surrounded by great people and where every day I have the chance to change someone’s life.”
You can help Chris change lives. Contribute to our Success Stories Campaign now.