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The first thing you notice about Charles is his smile. In fact, it is so warm and bright that you can’t help but smile yourself; it’s infectious. For many people dealing with homelessness, a smile would be almost unthinkable. However, as Charles will tell you: he is grateful.

A Navy brat and Army Veteran, Charles has lived in Alabama, San Diego, Charleston, Atlanta and even Spain throughout his life. He’s worked construction, manufactured missiles, and has raised eight children. Charles has lived a full life, and one that is visible by the calluses on his hands and the creases on his face as he continues to beam.

Charles was in an apartment. It was only a matter of time before his roommates would be arrested for illegal narcotics. Charles needed a way out. He recalled talking to an outreach coordinator just days before. He picked up the phone and within a week he was sleeping in our dormitory, thankful to be there.

“The program is so easy.” For Charles, the shelter was cut and dry. “Don’t be drinking, don’t be drugging, don’t act the fool, and don’t get impatient.”

It took Charles two months to find new housing, build a modest savings, get a full health assessment (including new glasses – no more “cheap grocery store ones”). He can’t thank his case managers enough and wishes he had a bunch of money to give to One80 Place to help others like he’s been helped.

Of course, there’s still work to do. Charles would really like to find some part-time work to help supplement his disability benefits. For now, however, Charles says, “I love my own place. It’s cute, efficient, and I have wonderful neighbors.”