Mary and Joseph are residents at our Program for Adults, the first and oldest Jerusalem House housing program. The residence consists of efficiency apartments built onto a renovated 1920’s two-story home, with a communal kitchen, a workout room, and other shared living areas. The stories below are the results of single-minded personal effort combined with the uniquely intensive support provided by the Program for Adults.
Sophia was in high school when she effectively lost her mother Mary. Sophia’s parents had separated, and Mary fell into a world of addiction. By the time Sophia graduated from high school, her mother was homeless and addicted to drugs.
Sophia went to college and got her own apartment. For years, Mary alternated between sobriety at Sophia’s house and living addicted on the streets. She was diagnosed with HIV in 1995.
Homeless again in 2003, Mary was referred to our Program for Adults. Surrounded by people who accepted and supported her, Mary attended medical appointments and even secured a new job. Her children and grandchildren now visit her often. Today, Mary has been clean and sober for more than 14 years.
“Jerusalem House helped her get to the place of wanting to get better, to be better,” Sophia says. “Jerusalem House gave me my mom back. They saved her.”
In the late 1980s, Joseph had a bright career as a New York City bank fraud investigator, a true achievement for a man with no college degree.
After his fiancée became pregnant, a chain of events led to a severance package from the bank and a move to Georgia. Losing custody of his daughter during an ugly divorce left Joseph depressed and abusing alcohol.
Despite contracting HIV in a new relationship, Joseph was determined to rebuild his life. Employment enabled him to move into a Jerusalem House Scattered Site Program apartment, but he lost his job when the company downsized. Joseph was offered a place at
“I thought that going from having my own apartment to having a room was a huge step backwards for me, but coming to the Program for Adults was a blessing in disguise,” Joseph says. “It gave me the time, the care, and the community support to focus on my health and what I wanted to do with my life.”
Today, Joseph is in his second year at Georgia State as a pre-law criminal justice and computer science double major with a 3.45 GPA. He made the Dean’s List for the summer semester of 2017 and was recently selected for membership in a prestigious national leadership society. After he graduates in 2019, Joseph plans to work as a computer forensic investigator.
“Having Jerusalem House behind me keeps me motivated. It makes me want to do more and achieve more because people believe in me.”