Ten Years on the Streets

After a divorce, Ryan found himself living on the streets back and forth between Clackamas and Multnomah counties.  He found himself weighing advantages of the many services available in Portland and contending with violence throughout the night, or staying in Oregon City/Milwaukie area with less services, no place to stay, but far less violence to contend.

Eight years ago, Ryan heard about The Father’s Heart from those he had met on the street. He remembers the realization of finally having a place to rest for a few hours was a huge deal.  Learning that he could come as is, without judgement or ultimatums. He was afforded a place to get some rest and food.

For ten years, Ryan remained on the street; knowing that God always had a plan. His faith told him that it would work out.  He also realized that there was no way for him to get out of the mire by himself. He knew the company he kept wasn’t helping him.  He needed a new community.

In 2018, Ryan graduated from a six month program with the Salvation Army.  From there he stayed in an Oxford house.  He realized that the only thing that was ever going to be available for him was group housing.  The stigma of being homeless, kept him from getting gainful employment.  Paying child support would leave him with very little to live. Not seeing any affordable housing, he returned to the streets where it was a little more affordable…if he could find employment.

He had been on a housing list for for many years.  While still on the streets, Ryan volunteered at LoveOne events and The Father’s Heart Emergency Warming Center.  Because of needing surgery during severe weather, The Father’s Heart was able to place him in our hotel voucher program.  Post operation he was able to continue his recovery in a hotel.

Today, Ryan is in his own apartment through placement from The Father’s Heart.   He has an RLRA housing voucher that lasts for 10 years of affordable housing. This will allow him time to become stable as he seeks employment and adjusts to him new way of life.