Dennis B., 73, grew up in a small Midwestern town. During the Vietnam era, he enlisted in the Navy where he served for several years. Following his service, Dennis returned to his hometown where he attended community college and studied carpentry. However, his post-war struggles with mental health made it difficult for him to work.
Dennis decided he needed a change and came to Boston in the late 1980’s hoping to make a positive change in his life. When he got here, he found it difficult to find jobs and he became homeless. Eventually, he made his way to Pine Street Inn.
Dennis stayed in shelter for about two years before moving into an apartment in one of Pine Street’s supportive housing locations.
“I reached a point where I was ready to accept help,” Dennis says. “I have lived in Pine Street’s housing in Brookline for about 30 years. I am so appreciative of everything the staff here does to make this a great place to live. I feel like I’m part of the community.”
Now, Dennis has a daily routine that involves meetings at the local senior center, checking in with his mental health supports, and other community connections. He also sings in a choir every week and walks every day for exercise.
Dennis adds, “As a former basketball player, I learned that sometimes in life you have to be your own coach. I’m working on treating myself with compassion. Every day you wake up is a victory.”