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Orville’s Story

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Washington-native, Orville, (pictured above) was living the dream for the first 30 years of his life—he owned a home, was married to a beautiful woman, and had three lovely children.

At age 59, Orville was a professional printer and book binder whose job became obsolete because of technology. Unable to keep up with his expenses, Orville became homeless. During this time, a family member’s relationship became abusive and Orville intervened, with disastrous consequences: the abuser shot him.

Orville had a lingering resentment. “The anger inside me forced me to seek out the man who shot me but I never found him. I found something else instead—cocaine.” Drugs did more than assuage Orville’s anger; they also helped him escape the reality of his homelessness.

In early 2014, Orville found a treatment program that helped him become sober. While there, he was referred to AimHire, where he met Employment Specialist, Bianca Palmisano. “I talked to Bianca for a few weeks about what I was looking for, and she helped me learn how to use a computer so I could start filling out job applications.”

Orville is now working as a stock clerk at Costco. His goals are to save money to get a driver’s license and a car, with an eye toward starting his own home-improvement business someday.

“Before Friendship Place, I had nothing. I was living on the streets, living on someone else’s floors, someone else’s couch—I don’t blame anyone, it was of my own doing, my own resentment holding me down. But today I know I don’t have to live like that, and I feel like a million dollars.”

 

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