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Having a roof over your head makes it a lot easier: Fred 

July 3, 2023

After five months in and out of the hospital managing multiple chronic health conditions, Fred Myers was uncertain of his next steps. 

“My situation became where I was a bit homeless. I was in the hospital at that point, and after I got out, I didn’t know where I was gonna go,” he says. 

The staff in his doctor’s office heard about Rapid Village Columbia and learned Fred would be eligible to become a resident of the village. With the solitude of a private shelter, support staff to help him obtain the medicines he needs, and the companionship of his emotional support dog, Thunder, things started to look up. 

“You know, having a roof over your head, it makes it a lot easier,” Fred says. “Having three meals a day makes it a lot easier. And having a support team makes it incredibly easier. Just knowing that you'll have staff members willing to support you in every facet, be it clothing, be it food, be it transportation. It makes everything a little bit more bearable instead of it being so hard.” 

As part of job placement and engagement programs in the village, Fred is attending weekly Bible studies and working with the local Goodwill for job placement and education advancement opportunities. In addition to participating in these programs to fulfill his goal of becoming an entrepreneur, he’s working with his case manager to find permanent housing. 

“Before this program, I kind of lost sight of that, but it's helping me rebuild the situations where I feel more confident in myself,” he says. “And it's helping me become a stronger man.” 

But his favorite part about living in the village? 

“Oh my gosh. My favorite thing? That has to be only one thing? Actually, I think my favorite thing is the community. Close knit. And having neighbors is awesome. We’re close enough to get to know each other and become very good friends. So, creating friendships and new paths has really been a venture for me.” 

With supportive services, his own private space to rest, and the restorative power of community in the village, Fred is optimistic about transitioning out of his shelter and what the future brings. 

“It's so awesome to me, if you come in the program, you take full advantage of it, you're going to get everything out of it that it’s meant to give,” he says. “I am the change I want to be. I’m not going backwards.” 

Rapid Shelter Columbia, a Pallet shelter village serving 50 people experiencing chronic homelessness, opened just 70 days after plans were announced.

Read more about breaking ground on the site and cultivating community in Columbia

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