In our bold mission to “End Homelessness Together,” the people we serve are not only partners in rebuilding their own wellbeing. They are powerful voices in our community to strengthen Austin and end the experience of homelessness for others.
It took Greg Williams an entire year to get off the streets as he navigated where to get the support he needed to lay a strong foundation for his future. Thanks to the generosity of our community, he found that support at Caritas of Austin.
“When I walked into my place for the first time, I couldn’t believe it. I felt relieved. I felt safe. I had my own space. I could cook. I could do what I wanted to do. My family can now come visit,” said Williams, reflecting on the numerous reasons he loves his apartment.
Greg has shown great resilience and courage in not letting his past define him. He bravely faced his past, overcame addiction, and even has his son back in his life now. He says that having stable housing helped him feel connected to the Austin community again.
“Having a home makes me feel like a respected person in society. I feel like I am a part of something now, which is really important. When I was hungry, lonely, and tired living on the streets, I didn’t feel a part of anything,” said Williams.
When we work together to end homelessness for neighbors, it allows more people to feel a part of Austin and have the opportunity to contribute their unique talents and voices to this city we all love. Because of this support, Greg now spends his time advocating for expanded resources to address homelessness.
“I’m currently on one of the City’s committees working on solutions to address homelessness. I’ve been speaking at various functions about helping those who are homeless. I spoke in front of City Council recently. I never thought in a million years I would do that,” he said.
Williams also lends a listening ear to friends who are currently homeless, offering wisdom from his own experience. He says he is inspired by the supporters who made it possible for him to end his homelessness, and he wants to be that catalyst in others’ lives.
“That’s what it’s all about: helping people. My favorite thing is when I can give back because so much has been given to me. Sometimes it’s giving a meal to someone, and sometimes it’s giving advice because I’ve been through it.” Thank you to all who partner with us in our work to end homelessness. Greg’s words say it well – you are changing lives and helping others find their voice.
“I am living proof that this program works. I was homeless and a drug addict, and now I am a bright shining star, and it’s all due to you.”