FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Dozens of homeless men and women are on the path to a stable, independent life thanks to new beginnings.
Rodney Christian has been fighting for years to get to this point in his life.
“I’ll tell you what man, it’s been a rocky road but then again it has its smooth places. I didn’t have some documents that I needed like a birth certificate,” Christian said.
You tend to lose things like that when you are battling homelessness. New Beginnings NWA has been helping people like Christian for a little more than a year.
“New Beginnings is a safe community where people can recover from chronic homelessness and prepare to move back into mainstream community,” New Beginnings Executive Director Solomon Burchfield said.
In that year, Burchfield said 30 residents got new forms of I.D. 22 got health insurance or started attending health appointments. Eight people qualified for disability benefits. 11 started new jobs.
“I think it’s just been an incredible experience to welcome people to come in off the streets, start getting support, start caring for their health and focus on reaching new goals,” Burchfield said.
The next step is tough though. Finding your own long-term home in an area with little affordable housing.
“That’s really the solution for homelessness is seeing small non-profits working together with city leaders and planners to really solve this problem of affordable housing,” Burchfield said.
Christian is ready. He got his documents, got healthy, and is now approved for Section 8 housing.
“I felt like Michael Jordan,” Christian said with a laugh.
Now he just has to wait until one opens up.
New Beginnings is currently seeking American Rescue Plan funding to build duplexes to help its residents find affordable housing. To learn more about the organization, click here.