After more than 25 years of homelessness, Camden now has a safe and stable place to call home.
Camden struggles with mental development challenges, has limited education and no family support. He has battled substance abuse which led to medical complications. His health and homelessness have aged him well beyond his years. One would expect Camden’s circumstances to result in a tragic end for him, or label his situation as hopeless. But, Camden’s story is different. With the support of Cornerstones and its partners, Camden has finally taken the steps to live in stable and supportive housing after nearly three decades of homelessness.
The Cornerstones’ staff first met Camden through its drop-in service at the Embry Rucker Community Shelter for clients who live outdoors in cars or other places unsafe for human habitation. At drop-in visits, unsheltered homeless individuals can come to wash their clothes, take a hot shower and eat a healthy meal. These visits also provide the staff an opportunity to engage and build a rapport with the visitors.
The staff would see Camden more often during the winter months when he would seek a warm place to sleep at the Hypothermia Shelter. But when the summer weather would roll around, Camden would retreat to his elaborate tent in the woods, only to be found through the Community Outreach Services provided by Cornerstones in collaboration with the Community Service Board (CSB).
It was during his drop-in visits this winter that the staff noticed Camden seemed tired and “grumpy.” Homelessness was taking its toll on him. Camden was finally ready to accept help from those that he has gotten to know and trust at Cornerstones over the years. Camden’s case workers say that although he is scared, he no longer wants to be homeless. Cornerstones and CSB are dedicated to helping Camden, and other unsheltered clients in our community like him, to overcome the circumstances that led to their homelessness and facilitate their transition to stable housing. Camden has successfully moved into housing and is receiving supportive services and regular counseling opportunities.