Finally Safe at Home
A Veteran Finds Peace During COVID
Like many people who find themselves living on the street, Lewis never thought that it would happen. He is an Army veteran and a member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. Lewis grew up in the South Bay with his mother. After serving in the Army, Lewis moved home and worked on the docks, but was in a motorcycle accident that left him disabled. The mental health issues that he struggled with became more difficult. Eventually, Lewis started using drugs as a coping mechanism. His addiction got so bad that he lost his job. For a couple years he lived under bridges, near freeways, or any safe place that he could find. “In the Army you learn to adapt,” he says.
After several close calls, Lewis made the decision to go to a rehab facility and never looked back. His is now 12 years sober and living at the King 1101 Apartments. He attends regular therapy sessions and exercises to keep his mind and body healthy.
It’s been over a year since Lewis moved in, but everything still feels new to him. “I shed a tear when I first found out about moving in,” he says. “It was a blessing.”
During quarantine, Lewis enjoys reading and biking the neighborhood at a safe distance. He feels for the people still out there experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“When you’re living on the streets you don’t have time to worry about a pandemic. Every day is just a matter of survival.”