Our Guests

Who are the homeless?

They are people challenged by illness or injury, or both; by traumas of childhood or war, or both; by their own imperfect choices or those of others, or both-or by all of these troubles. Too often they are children.


Tom first came to Hospitality House looking for a bag lunch and a place to rest his head and sleep off the effects of a hard drinking two week binge. He was fifty four years old and a veteran of the United States Armed forces. By his own honest admission he had spent the majority of his adult life drunk or incarcerated. With considerable effort Tom managed to gain a marginal element of control over his drinking and was able to stay at Hospitality house in an on-again, off-again style that accommodated both his addiction and his need for recovery. When the Hospitality House shut its doors for the summer season Tom set up a camp and quickly fell long and hard into his addiction. Months passed and Tom lost the will to live. He was arrested for DUI and spoke repeatedly of giving up and lost hope. Alienated from his family, embarrassed by what he had become, Tom stopped eating and purposefully began to mix large quantities of prescription pain killers with alcohol, hoping for a lethal dose. Throughout his deterioration our outreach workers continued to work with Tom, visiting him in his camp daily with gifts of food, water, hope and encouragement. It was clear to all that Tom was dying. One day, close to death Tom made a fateful decision to enter recovery. With help and enthusiasm from our local VA office Tom was literally out of the woods and on his way to a residential treatment and detoxification facility the next day. Seven months later Tom is alive and well, enjoying the longest period of clarity and sobriety of his adult life. His smile is contagious and his zest, passion and gratitude for life are inspiring. He has earned his driver’s license back and reconnected with his family. Remarkably he is now employed at a rehabilitation center working as a peer counselor, helping others down the same difficult path on which he has passed.read more


Tessa is a military veteran, homeless for three years, and a victim of violent assault. Tessa’s assault resulted in injury to her mouth that has required extensive oral surgery as well as emotional support for the trauma of the assault. Tessa stayed at our shelter for 9 months, while she endured the extraction of all her teeth, healing of her mouth and gums, and initial fitting of her new dentures. She also became involved in a support group at our local Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Coalition. Currently, she is living in her own apartment – made possible by a non-profit veteran’s organization. She is in the process of being fitted for new dentures, continues to seek support from her group, and plans to resume full employment once she has her smile back.read more


Bill came to us during our summer drop-in program. He was living in a homeless camp, estranged from his family, and heavily into the use of illegal drugs. With encouragement and solid goal-setting, he has managed to stay completely off drugs for 60 days so far, reconnect with his baby daughter, and begin phone contact with his parents. Bill’s ultimate goal is to join the military — he is currently working closely with a recruiter — so he can “make a better life for my daughter and me”. His attitude and hope for the future has improved significantly. We look forward to seeing him reach his long term goal.read more


William came to us two years ago. At the time he had a broken foot and cracked vertebrae in his back, the result of a fall at the river. During his stay he was able to reconnect with his medical doctor, heal his foot, and complete physical therapy for his back injury. William was also able to stabilize with the assistance of a good psychiatrist. His urges to “run and keep going” subsided. William’s improved physical and mental health has enabled him to settle in his own apartment, and live without the pervasive fear and anxiety he previously experienced.read more


Matt came to HH in to access the summer drop-in program. At age 48, his alcoholism had finally caught up to him, and he’d lost his wife, children, lucrative employment, and eventually his truck (totaled in a late-night collision with a phone pole). He was severely depressed, bordering on suicidal. On his rare sober days, he would show up at the Welcome Center — exhausted and usually with a serious case of poison oak and hundreds of mosquito bites. Intensive crisis intervention, mental health support, medication, and his own decision to become sober eventually turned his life to a new direction. Through hard work and a huge desire to reunite with his family, Matt is making the journey back from what he calls “the dark times”. He has maintained two months of complete sobriety, and recently was accepted into a nine month long residential treatment program for his addiction to alcohol. Matt and his family look forward to a new beginning.read more