Daniel and Gina, 70 and 60 years old respectively, came to BACS in need of serious help. They were homeless, and did not have access to food, medications, or other services. Through the collective efforts of our dedicated teams in three programs, Daniel and Gina are no longer homeless and are receiving the services they need!BACS was first introduced to Daniel and Gina through our Wellness Center in Pleasanton, after the elderly couple had been living on the streets for 10 weeks. Unable to pay rent due to mounting medical bills, the couple, 70 and 60 years old respectively, had been evicted from their apartment where they had lived for the past 12 years.
A Wellness Center (WC) member came across the couple, and brought them into the WC for resources and services – including respite from the living on the streets, a long overdue string of consecutive nutritious meals, and community support.
As Daniel recalls, “Kelly, the Peer Counselor, was the first person to welcome us in. She opened the door for us – Kelly and the staff got me my meds, they gave us food, they helped Gina with her check. They gave us hope, anything we needed basically. I’ve never had anyone work so hard to help us, ever.”
Over the following weeks the Wellness Center became a foundation for Daniel and Gina as the community worked together to change the trajectory of their life. WC staff members immediately went to work, re-linking Daniel to basic medical services, supporting Gina with finances and advocating for their entry into the BACS transitional housing program (Housing Fast Support Network / HFSN) at the Henry Robinson Multicultural Center in Oakland. WC Community members gave them warm blankets, and Daniel a wheelchair.
Reflecting on his days living on the streets Daniel explains, “It’s horrible. All we think about is where we’re gonna get our next meal. How we’re gonna get clean and go to the bathroom, where we’re gonna sleep, how we’re gonna stay warm. I slept on pallets, and Gina slept on a lawn chair. Workers found us and offered me a place to stay due to my medical condition, but they said Gina couldn’t come too. I wouldn’t leave her alone on the streets, so I told them no. I just about gave up hope and then that guy brought us to the Wellness Center.”