Participant Stories

Joe's Story

After returning from the Gulf War and serving his country, Joe, like so many other veterans in the District, found it difficult to find stable housing. Though he worked in construction, he didn’t make enough income to support himself.

John's Story

John was addicted. He first tried crack cocaine in 1983, the summer he graduated from high school. His future seemed to evaporate like the smoke from the lit crack pipe. Highly addictive, crack cocaine became his first priority in life. For the next 27 years John battled addiction. His life consisted of moving from one menial job to another and getting high. At age 45, John had nothing. He moved between the homes of friends and family, sleeping on couches when they would let him. Other nights he checked into a shelter.

Marissa's Story

Sometimes, it takes years of hard work and persistence to reach a goal. Marissa came to Samaritan Ministry in 2005, unemployed and three months behind on her mortgage. A previous employer owed her back wages, but the hearing before the labor board was not scheduled for three months. Marissa knew she needed to move forward, but felt frustrated by her situation. With encouragement from a caseworker, she began to set goals at Samaritan Ministry. Her first goal was employment, and she landed a part time job with a DC hospital.

Peter's Story

Peter appreciates his freedom. In prison for two years for drug dealing, he had learned his lesson. No more drugs. But before he could really be on his own, Peter was required to live in the halfway house for six months. The strict policies at the house, where residents were not allowed out but a few hours each day, made it hard to get on with life, but Peter was determined. Staying sober, away from drugs of any kind including alcohol, was crucial to his success.