Vernon’s Story

Vernon is a hardworking, responsible man, who works as a ramp attendant at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and lived in a room he rented at the Christie Hotel in South San Francisco. His world fell apart when the building he lived in went up in flames during an electrical fire. Everything he owned was destroyed by the fire. With no place to go and nothing but the clothes on his back, Vernon was thankful to be alive, but he knew he needed help.

Homelessness was a new concept for Vernon. He had always had a steady job and income, but the financial losses from the fire quickly rendered him without any savings. In partnership with local agencies, Samaritan House was able to place Vernon and other victims displaced by the fire at Safe Harbor Shelter.

Vernon lived at Safe Harbor for six  months while he continued to work and save money to find a new home and to provide financial support for his son who lives with his mother in New York.  Vernon says that of all the things he’s proud of in his life, his son is first among them.

Last month, Vernon’s case manager recommended him for a three year housing subsidy through the San Mateo County Housing Authority. The subsidy was quickly awarded and, with the help of his case manager, he was able to find an apartment he could afford.

He received financial support from Samaritan House for his move-in costs, and he recently received the keys to his new home. On Labor Day weekend, Vernon was filled with pride when his son flew out to visit him and stay with him in his new apartment.  They cooked together, visited the sights of the city and had wonderful time. With a renewed sense of optimism, Vernon is confident that, his future is going to be a bright one!