David Discusses his Experience with Homelessness and Importance of Healthcare
Along with thirteen other impact speakers on Wednesday, July 24, David will share his story of homelessness and recovery with elected officials and attendees at the 2019 Congressional Reception. He is grateful for the assistance and support that he has received and hopes that elected officials and policymakers will recognize that housing is healthcare.
David Symons lives in Trenton, New Jersey and is a constituent of US Representative Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ-12).
David, who is 40 years old, became homeless after suffering from a mental illness. After becoming homeless, his mental health further declined. This decline in his health made it harder for him to seek or receive help.
Usually, David would sleep outside on the streets. Being unable to shower and maintain his hygiene was one of the worst parts about not having a home. David constantly worried for his life but says that his faith kept him going. He remained homeless until 2014.
Finally, David sought help and went to Diocese of Trenton Catholic Charities, a 2019 Congressional Reception Partner. The program challenged him and changed his life and David says he wishes that he had turned to Catholic Charities earlier. The staff helped him in many ways, including encouraging him to improve his mental and physical health. He is still involved with Catholic Charities but he has reached significant milestones since he began in 2014. Also, David credits Wilson Bagley, head of Catholic Charities’ Partners in Recovery, for much of his recovery.
David now has his own apartment, maintains a job, and is excited about welcoming his first child in the fall. When individuals have access to safe and affordable homes, they lead healthier lifestyles, maintain jobs, and help others. Housing is a right and, as David confirms, housing is healthcare.
On July 24, 300 attendees will tell our elected officials that Opportunity Starts at Home! Show your support for David and all who have been impacted by homelessness by registering to attend the Congressional Reception, advocating for the 2019 Federal Policy Priorities, or sharing on social media.