Meet Andre Brinson
Andre Brinson is familiar with the streets of DC, and the challenges they present. Born in Southeast, in the projects, he grew up in an area permeated with drugs and littered with needles on the ground.
“Addicts would pay us to help them shoot up,” Mr. Brinson reports.
Mr. Brinson found himself caught up in gang life but knew he needed to make a change. To protect his family from his lifestyle, he left home, and first experienced homelessness at the age of 23.
With no place else to go, he began to visit Friendship Place’s Welcome Center, which he heard about from others living on the street. “Friendship Place helped a lot of people,” Mr. Brinson reports. As for himself, the Welcome Center “was basically my home… things got better for me,” because he had a safe place to be.
The Welcome Center and its case managers “gave me confidence to improve my life… it’s scary, but at the same time, I’m happy.”
Welcome Center staff connected Mr. Brinson to employment, including working at a local airport. Welcome Center case managers “gave me dress clothes and helped me make the connection.”
Friendship Place Welcome Center staff also helped Mr. Brinson find a home. Today, he lives in a one-bedroom apartment, which the team helped him secure.
Mr. Brinson tells us “People at the Welcome Center love their jobs. If it wasn’t for them, I don’t know where I would be.”