John and Equus transcript
John: My story starts here in San Diego. Born here in 1980. I lived a pretty normal life. Turned 30. I was diagnosed as bipolar I. I ended up in jail. I've just basically lost everything due to this, and I was living in a tent in the bushes, and I had just accepted that as my fate. By then, I was so humbled down that I had kind of learned in that time how to live with nothing.
Andrea: He's a very humble guy and very appreciative. Any support and help that was given, he just returned it back with gratitude. "Thank you so much for helping me." And in return, it makes it even more rewarding when you can take someone who's been experiencing homelessness for 2, 5, 10 years like John, and then provide them with housing. And he was ready and willing to do whatever it took, just empowered me more to provide that to him because he wanted it.
John: The people that they have selected to come into the field and work with us, for me, was a big part of my success. They were just very easy to work with and they were understanding. They just always made me feel like I had support. So that gave me structure and then that gave me success.
Kamra: One of the things that's really important to us in interacting with our clients is dignity. No matter where they come from, no matter what they're doing, it's the baseline. We are people and we have to remember that. That's with our landlords, property managers, clients. When you treat a person with dignity, right there you have a level of trust and understanding that allows the other parts of the conversation to happen.
John: They made me feel like a human being again. They individualized the care. When I went into the hotels, I didn't feel like this outcast that wasn't wanted.
Andrea: Regardless of where you came from, how long you've been homeless, what your skin tone colour is, whatever it may be, your age, never give up. As a roadway out, there's support out there. You just have to want it.
John: Today, I have an apartment. And the biggest thing for me is that working with Equus is they got me into a situation where now I can actually afford my rent and I can afford to pay where I'm living, and it's a realistic hope for the future. Half the smile I have today is because of them. I'm forever grateful to Equus. They literally saved my life.