More Than a Place to Stay

Roy didn’t know where to turn when he became homeless at age 65.

Roy has spent the past year looking for a home.

He had worked most of his life, but was unable to work because of health problems. At age 65, he had few options left.

“I couldn’t pay my rent, and I got evicted,” said Roy. “I was on the street, with nowhere else to go, so I went to House of Friendship.”

When he first arrived, no bed was available. Roy waited outside in the cold until 1 a.m. before a bed became available.

“I was fall, close to winter. I was so grateful when I finally was able to come in. The staff were so great, and it was good staying there. The meals were good and we were taken care of.”


But, there was still the challenge of sharing a room with five other men.

“When I was at the Shelter, I had a bad chest cough for a long time. It was hard to stay healthy.”

Now, Roy is staying at a hotel as part of House of Friendship’s Shelter program during COVID-19. It’s a glimpse of what ShelterCare could look like, with 24/7 staff support, a health-care team in place with both a daily clinic and rounds, and additional supports like help with housing searches all in one location.

“Since I came here, I feel really much better.”

Sleeping has also become much easier for Roy, who find it difficult to get the rest he needed with the extra noise in the rooms.

“I’m a very light sleeper,” said Roy. “Now that I’m here, I’ve had no problems.”

Roy hasn’t yet used the health-care team on site, but that will soon change. He will be having prostate surgery soon, and he will be relying on the medical team at the Shelter program to help him during his recovery.

Roy is thankful for the support he has received, and hopes more can be done to help others in his situation.

“I’ve seen how many homeless people are out there, and it hurts me,” said Roy. “I wish I had the money so that I could help people.”

Roy has been approved for housing, but COVID-19 restrictions have meant that he has to wait before he can move in.

In the meantime, Roy is thankful.

“I want to give thanks to God, for the help. I am thankful to all of the staff at House of Friendship, to everyone – I give thanks. I appreciate everything you are doing. You’ve given me a life.”