A HELPING HAND: Mr. Wayne’s Story

Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) is a federally funded HUD program that offers a variety of housing solutions and support services for low-income persons living with HIV/AIDS. Alongside HOPWA, the Emergency Solution Grants (ESG) Program provides services from street outreach to rapid re-housing to those experiencing homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless. Continuing to leverage HOPWA with other local services to address housing insecurity and the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Georgia, the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) is proud to share success stories of individuals who were given a helping hand.

The identity of each person profiled will be restricted out of respect for their privacy.

Mr. Wayne is a disabled veteran who was introduced to the DCA ESG-CV’s Street Outreach team through the Steward County Sheriff’s Department after facing eviction from his home. Because COVID-19 had brought about financial hardships, Mr. Wayne could not pay his rent and became homeless overnight.

The Street Outreach team met with Mr. Wayne in a grocery store parking lot as he explained that he and his dog slept in his pickup truck the night before. With the ESG-CV program, a hotel in his hometown, Richland, was made available to him.

The hotel attendant was welcoming and even allowed Mr. Wayne’s dog, Max, to stay with him. During his 30-day stay, the ESG-CV team looked to partner with landlords in the county but was unsuccessful due to the lack of housing in the rural area of Richland. However, Mr. Wayne’s veteran status allowed him to transition into the Plummer Home, a transitional living center for homeless men with a focus on providing housing for homeless veterans.

There, Mr. Wayne can attend classes to prepare him for success once he is permanently placed in the community. In addition, the Plummer Home provides resources specifically for veterans and their special needs while providing room and board.

Mr. Wayne no longer carries a homeless status. He calls weekly to express his gratitude to the ESG-CV program team for giving him the support and guidance he needed to start a new chapter in life.

For more information regarding the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA), click here. To learn more about the Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) Program, click here.