Tom worked hard all his life, spending 27 years working in a large auto parts warehouse. When the business closed, he retired at age 62. Trying to live solely on his Social Security benefits was challenging. Each month, Tom found himself spending more than his benefits, and he amassed credit card debt.
When Tom’s landlord increased his rent by 30%, he could no longer afford his apartment, and he became homeless.
Tom made his way to Pine Street Inn, which he describes as a positive experience, despite the difficulty of his situation. “I was embarrassed to let people know that I had lost my apartment,” he said. “I wasn’t sure about staying in a shelter, and I was surprised by how friendly and caring the Pine Street staff were.”
During the pandemic, Tom moved to the Charles River Inn, a temporary shelter managed by Pine Street that is providing intensive housing services. “I got great food three times a day, and I only had one roommate – we ended up becoming friends.”
Now 73, Tom recently found permanent supportive housing at Pine Street’s Green Street location in Jamaica Plain. “Kimberly Wilson, my housing specialist, worked tirelessly to help me find this place. She really cared,” Tom said.
“The apartment is great. I’ve got two good roommates, and the place is clean and gets good light and airflow. I’m even learning to do some cooking,” Tom said. “I like the community here.
I especially like walking around Jamaica Pond.”
Tom offered some advice for anyone who is currently experiencing homelessness. “Persevere. Hang in there, and you’ll make it. I’m so grateful for everything Pine Street has done for me.”