Dan Hooks’ experience with Community of Hope came full circle this year when — after already being a patient at our Conway Health and Resource Center since 2016—he moved into an apartment with support from our housing team.
When he became a patient, Community of Hope diagnosed Dan with high blood pressure. “My doctors make sure I have my blood pressure medicine and that I have everything I need. If I have any health concerns, they take care of it promptly.”
Even though Dan was controlling his high blood pressure, another BIG gap remained—lack of stable housing. For over seven years, Dan was critically homeless, living in shelters and on the streets if he had to. “It was dramatic –I was literally sleeping in the shelter night after night and the people there didn’t care how they treated us.” Through the years , Dan had lost so many of his immediate family members–including his mom, dad, and two brothers–that requesting help from relatives was not an option. The impact of his losses resulted in depression and some poor decision-making.
But Dan was determined to change his life, and he knew the first change started with himself. Last year, he joined the Street Sense Media Team and started working as a vendor selling newspapers. The Street Sense Outreach providers connected Dan to Community of Hope, and he was matched in our Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) Program. Our PSH team helps almost 200 families and a limited number of individuals experiencing chronic homelessness maintain permanent housing through support services such as intensive case management, rental assistance, goal setting, and connections to other community resources.
Dan was in disbelief once he realized that the same organization providing his medical care was now able to help him with stable housing. “I’m already affiliated with medical and now you’re helping me with housing. It's truly a blessing. It really can’t be explained.”
Dan was paired with a Community of Hope case manager and was able to move into a newly built affordable apartment at Parkway Overlook Apartments in Southeast, Washington, DC. “When I first opened the apartment door all I did was thank God and thank Community of Hope. I was in the shelter for too long. I was overwhelmed with emotion.” Now, with continued support from Community of Hope, Dan’s blood pressure is regularly monitored and managed, and he finally has stable, supportive housing. As for his next steps, Dan says he is “inspired to open his own non-profit so that he can help others in ways Community of Hope helped him."
“I waited for so long to get help from others. Without Community of Hope, I would still be displaced and struggling.”
Community of Hope’s mission is to improve health and end family homelessness to make Washington, DC more equitable. For more information about our high-quality health and housing services, please visit our website at www.communityofhopedc.org.