People can become homeless for a variety of reasons. Some struggle with substance use or mental health issues. Others face overwhelming health and medical challenges or life-changing trauma.
For Galvester, it was none of those. He had worked hard throughout his life, spending most of his career as a truck driver. After his father passed away, Galvester moved from New Jersey to Massachusetts. However, he was unable to find work, and without a safety net, became homeless shortly after moving to Boston.
“I lived on the streets for a time before connecting with Pine Street Inn,” Galvester says. “I stayed in Pine Street’s (former) shelter on Long Island for almost six years. Pine Street has always treated me with dignity, like a human being. They helped me get off the street, fed me nutritious meals, and even paid me to work part-time doing maintenance as part of a training program.”
Now Galvester lives in one of Pine Street’s newest residences on Hamilton Street in Dorchester. “I’ve lived here since it opened a few years ago, and I love it,” says Galvester. “I have a nice large studio with a kitchen, and I’ve made friends in the building.”
Galvester continues, “The neighborhood has been welcoming too. When you’re homeless, you don’t have a sense of belonging. Here, I feel like part of the community. “Being homeless was a traumatic part of my life,” Galvester says. “After I moved into an apartment, I would go back to Pine Street’s shelter to share my story and encourage people to keep moving forward. I would tell everyone about how kind and caring the staff at Pine Street are. You really feel like they want you to succeed.”
Galvester closes, “There are so many services available in Boston. When you need help, all you have to do is ask.”