Angel had second thoughts the first time he walked into Thrive DC.
“That sandwich meant everything to me. I had no money and no place to go. That sandwich said ‘don’t give up, stay strong.’”
Angel needed help finding employment. He was living in a friend’s closet paying $200/month just to have someplace to sleep at night. But Thrive DC was able help him out with a job right away. Less than a week after Angel came looking for help he was set up with a job at a local grocery store.
Angel respectfully let Thrive DC know that he was going to quit his job, and went to a friend with a painting company for work. When there was work to do it was a good arrangement; but every day was a risk that he might not get a call, or the job wouldn’t be big enough to pay his bills.
Eventually he ran out of options and came back to Thrive DC.
This time things were different. Angel came looking for help right when a position was opening up at the International Monetary Fund for cleaning work. The Thrive DC staff was impressed with Angel’s drive and demeanor, and immediately recommended him for the position. After a formal interview process and background check Angel was hired!
Angel’s just started his new job and will be making $15/hr with benefits. He plans to stay in the small one-bedroom apartment he’s been renting now for a year and save up money. Angel has a plan, and never wants to worry about becoming homeless ever again.
Russeline came to Thrive DC two years ago during a period of crisis in her life. She had no food, no access to clean clothing, and no place to live. She struggled with addiction and was experiencing mental and chronic health problems.
Russeline spent more than 6 years living on the streets and in incarceration with nowhere to go and no one to support her. She came to Thrive by suggestion from her friend and she says the staff at Thrive helped her become a person she is proud of.
At first she only expected a meal, but with the help of Trenett, Jemahl, Nicole, and others, she has found so much more.
Russeline now has a job at a dental clinic, has her health problems under control with support from Thrive, and no longer feels the need to take drugs. Staff at Thrive helped Russeline to get healthy, obtain insurance, and attend job training sessions.
She attributes her successes to her friends at Thrive that literally saved her life. “Without Thrive DC, I don’t know if I would’ve made it. Now I get up every day knowing I’m going to do something responsible.”
Russeline continues to meet with Jemahl and Trenett and receive services from Thrive DC, but she is finally in a place in her life where she feels happy. “I smile 90% of the time now,” she says, “If I can do it, anyone can do it.”
“Most of all, I found friends at Thrive DC,” says Russeline.
Jonathan started coming to Thrive DC years ago, when the breakfast program was known as the “9:30 Club." He found himself homeless and living in a shelter. He had raised nine children and previously worked as a store manager, among other things.
He first came to Thrive looking for something to eat after his friends had referred him. But, he said as soon as he walked through the doors he immediately felt comfortable. “[Thrive] gives me direction. It keeps me busy and safe,” he said. Jonathan has participated in various activities at Thrive including art group and meets with Jessica, our Director of Social Services.
Over the years, he has become friends with members of the staff including Jemahl, the employment specialist, and Terrence, our chef. Recently, with help from Mary’s Center, Jonathan was able to move into his very own apartment after living in a shelter for years. He describes his first night living in his apartment as “peaceful and relaxing. It’s a relief to have your own place,” he says.
His building is safe and secure and Jonathan feels very fortunate to be living in a brand new building. He now feels in control of his own life—“It’s good to have a place I can call my own.”