Chad’s Journey to Permanent Housing through Project Roomkey

Apr 16, 2021 | by The Salvation Army

Members of The Salvation Army Los Angeles team and program graduate Chad (right)

These are the final days of his stay with The Salvation Army. Today, Chad is cheerful and just thankful for all the support he’s gotten over the past 11 months. However, you wouldn’t have recognized this Chad just one year ago.

In May 2020, during the beginning of the pandemic and the early stages of Project Roomkey, Chad began his relationship with The Salvation Army when he stepped into the LA Grand Hotel. At first, he was extremely upset that he was referred by the City of Los Angeles Homeless Authority to come to this hotel.  After learning that he had been living on the streets for 30 years, Program Director, Ana Aguirre, sat down with Chad and offered him a meal. “I realized he was just scared, so I gave him some food and told him to sit down, have a meal, and give yourself some time to think about it.” Chad was still clearly frustrated with the situation, but he stayed and ate his food. After three hours of periodical check-ins, Ana informed Chad that she had to go home and asked him if he was staying.

Chad said yes.

That same day, Ana and the rest of the team at Project Roomkey LA Grand Hotel completed Chad’s intake process and got him into his room. During his first week at the emergency shelter, his behavior was a little hostile and resistant, but little by little he began eating and showering and slowly opened up to the staff. Once Chad got more comfortable in his room, he even waited for Ana in the mornings to greet her each day.

Once it was clear that Chad had made quite a bit of progress, Ana and her team got Chad two service dogs to provide him both with an added sense of security and companionship.

We’re glad to report that as of April 2021, Chad was officially approved for housing and is currently waiting to sign a lease to his new home. Everyone at the Project Roomkey LA Grand Hotel shelter was thrilled for Chad, and he even got to meet Council-member Mitch O’Farrell who congratulated him personally on this new chapter. While Chad’s story is one of many success stories from The Salvation Army’s partnerships through Project Roomkey, we’re excited to see what the future has in store for him.

 

About Project Roomkey Project Roomkey is a collaborative effort between the State, County, and the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) to provide hotel and motel rooms for our vulnerable unhoused community members with intention of protecting Angelenos from COVID-19. The Salvation Army rapidly opened four alternate shelters in Los Angeles County through Project Roomkey. To learn more about this project, visit https://covid19.lacounty.gov/project-roomkey/


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