One-Stop Shop For Turning Lives Around

By United Way of King County, on April 19, 2018 | In Fighting Homelessness

Weeks ago, Collin was at the gas station with his girlfriend when a man he didn’t know approached him and threatened to stab him. A scary situation for anyone. Yet, since he’s become homeless, incidents like that are much more common.

“Most of my days, by nine, I’m about ready to pull my hair out because it’s so stressful out there,” he said at last month’s Community Resource Exchange. His girlfriend is an open, sociable person – and he worries about her because of that— but homelessness has led him to retreat inward for survival.

“I used to be sociable but some of the people are just out of control,” he said

But at the Exchange he found nothing but people who wanted to help him succeed. He spent the day with his guide Katie from K & L Gates. Together they visited several services at the Community Resource Exchange, including housing with Congregations for the Homeless. He had medical issues addressed. He also stopped by the Jobs Connect job fair, making, well, connections, that he’ll follow up on for future employment.

Eight years ago, Collin had a job trying off boats on a Ballard fishing dock, but the economy fell through and he fell on hard times. He’s a soft-spoken man with a prominent South Carolinian accent is. That southern heritage is prominent in his culinary choices too: he applied for kitchen jobs at the Exchange, hopeful for a place where he could cook up his favorite cuisine: “Fried food. Chicken. Anything fried. Southern food.”

After years on unstable ground, Collin stays at a shelter in Bellevue. He found out about the Community Resource Exchange from his methadone clinic. It might be stressful out there, he’s turning things around with help from the Community Resource Exchange. “Any help is positive,” he said.


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