“We’re human just like you are.”

After tough times in Crystal’s young life, she was working but either staying with friends or in hotels. Then she reached the point where she was not working at all, and she started living on the streets in her early 20s. She learned things most people don’t need to, like places where she could sleep outside and where she could go to the bathroom. “I learned how to be on the streets. There were certain places I could go at certain times.”

In 2013, Crystal started attending Camelot College, and she received her CNA to become a medical assistant. But with her physical and mental disabilities, she still struggled to maintain housing.

Until June 2016. That is when Crystal moved into her apartment through SHC. “I love it here. I don’t always feel comfortable in my surroundings, and my house is my safe haven.”

It was a struggle for Crystal to get adjusted to having a roof over her head, but then she started enjoying the feelings of being dry, warm and not hungry.

This allowed Crystal to start looking forward. She recently got accepted to the online program at Liberty University to earn a degree in psychology/social work. She plans to earn her MSW after that. Her overall goal is to help others help themselves. She would like to help others put themselves in someone else’s shoes. So many people are one or two paychecks from being homeless.

What would Crystal really like to share? “We’re human just like you are. Don’t look down on us because we are asking for help. Open more of your doors and your lives to help others.”