THG Blog

Our People: Darrell

What with taking inventory of all your belongings, packing it all up, and then cajoling a friend or two to help with the move, the entire moving process is routed in stress. Our lives are put on hold as we reestablish the stability that our own refrigerators, our own warm beds, and our own routines afford us.   

Darrell is no stranger to moving. Since 1989 Darrell has lived in “at least 35 different places.” The list below took serious digging and memory jogging to develop. Here we go…

  • Moved to Syracuse, NY from Hoboken, NJ in November of 1989
  • Apartment on Seymour Street Nov. 1989 – Jan. 1990
  • Rescue Mission Homeless Shelter Jan. 1990 – June 1990
  • Apartment on Southside June 1990 – Dec 1991
  • Shelters in New York City and Syracuse Dec 1991- Nov 1996 “I bopped around a lot working odd jobs.”  “I was living under the streets of New York and under the bridges in Syracuse… I got in trouble. A lot.”
  • Rescue Mission Homeless Shelter Nov 1996 – Jan 1997
  • Catholic Charities Homeless Shelter Jan 1997 – Sep 1997
  • Apartment on Butternut Street Sep 1997 – Sep 1998
  • Apartment on Southside Sep 1998 – Jan 1999
  • Back to apartment on Butternut Jan 1999 – June 1999
  • Catholic Charities Homeless Shelter June 1999 – Jan 2001
  • Back to New York City Jan 2001 – Jan 2003 “I went back for my father’s funeral… Bopped around some more living under the streets.”
  • Catholic Charities Homeless Shelter and Hospital Jan 2003 – Nov 2003 “I got sick. Real sick. Pneumonia that messed me up…”
  • Catholic Charities Homeless Shelter Nov 2004 – Jan 2005 “Someone showed me a picture of me passed out drunk. I looked so bad. I couldn’t believe it was me. I stopped drinking that day.”
  • Apartment on West Onondaga Jan 2005 – Nov 2007 “I was working for a temp agency but the building got so disgusting. I had to leave.”
  • Rescue Mission Homeless Shelter/ Catholic Charities Homeless Shelter Nov 2007 – Dec 2010 “I worked at Ponderosa [Steakhouse] until they closed… I showed up to work one day and the manager told us we were out of a job. No one had any idea.” “I jumped from shelter to shelter as I looked for work and a place. And work and a place.”
  • Apartment on Fabius Street Jan 2010- Dec 2011
  • Catholic Charities Homeless Shelter Dec 2011 – Jan 2013
  • Apartment on Fayette Street Jan 2013- Oct 2015
  • Apartment on James Street Oct 2015 – Jan 2016 “None of the heat works in the building so the landlord gave us all space heaters. It’s cold. Really cold.

Many of these moves are a direct result of adverse actions Darrell has admittedly taken. His years drinking resulted in much alienation and many forced evictions. But the condition of the laundry list of apartments was equally to blame for his transitions. Bed bugs, mice, and cockroaches were the least of his problems. Drug addiction, prostitution, and utter neglect characterized the majority of apartments that fit Darrell’s budget.

Now, the bullet list is 19 long. It most certainly does not account for every apartment, boarding house, sewer grate, or shelter bed that Darrell laid his head. The months and maybe the years may even be off.  However, it paints quite a picture. The tumult, struggle, and eventual sense of complacency is palatable as you scroll down to the next bullet point. And then the next. And then the next. Imagine trying to find any sense of stability…  

Darrell, you, me: We all need spaces that foster stability. A home that is both safe and dignified yet within our means. I hope that Darrell finds that home soon. And I hope that A Tiny Home for Good will be right there with him.