01 Nov Willie’s Story
At 66 years old, Willie Muhammad never imagined that he would be starting his life over in a homeless center. He was never a big drinker, he didn’t do drugs, he didn’t have any mental health issues, and he never really had a problem finding or keeping a job. But one day that all changed when his mother fell ill, and he moved to Charleston to care for her. Her illness was consuming, and while he was busy caring for her, he barely noticed that he had neglected to care for himself. Willie’s mother soon passed, and he decided to move back to Columbia to be closer to his daughter. While his heart was in the right place, he was now disabled and unable to work a full time job. Willie was getting by, but after a disagreement with his landlord, he found himself on the street without any way to support himself. Refusing to be a burden on his daughter, Willie came to Transitions. Last June, Willie entered our Emergency Program. When he met with case management, he stated immediately, “I don’t plan on staying here very long. Just tell me what I need to do or point me in the direction I need to go, and I’ll do it.” He had the desire and the right attitude, and one month later, Willie was able to move rapidly up into our Transitional Housing program. The case managers were immediately drawn to Willie’s positive, can-do attitude. While he didn’t require much support from our service providers, Willie simply needed guidance on how to get back on his feet. He began using his SSI to make repairs to his van to get it working again. Once he had reliable transportation, he would be able to sustain part time work. Then 6 months later, Willie’s situation improved. With the help of his case manager, he was able to find an apartment with a rent that he could afford.
Willie was finally going home.
Now that he has an apartment of his own, Willie is excited to find a part-time job, become a better father and grandfather, and enjoy life a little more. He takes pleasure in reading his grandchildren “Old Tales” and telling them stories of the 1900’s.The staff and residents at Transitions will miss his sense of humor and his positive outlook on life. He promises to keep in touch, and we couldn’t be happier for his accomplishments