Allen arrived at Higher Ground Saint Paul Residence wearing a winter hat and layers of jackets. Like many who have experienced homelessness and life on the streets, one jacket just doesn’t cut it.
But on a cold January day, Allen, 38, walked into his new home on the fifth floor of Higher Ground and hung his jackets up on hooks.
He was finally home.
“Sleeping on the floor, that was nerve wracking. I had to sleep around people I didn’t know. I always had a cautious feeling,” he explained.
While Allen had been staying at Catholic Charities’ Mary Hall lately, his memories of time spent sleeping on the floor at Dorothy Day Center remain on his mind.
Looking out at the city of Saint Paul from his top floor window, Allen smiles.
“Bad things happened in my life,” he said. “I’m going to do my best not to put myself in that situation again.”
He’s more than a man with a dream; Allen has a plan.
While all of his belongings were in the plastic tubs all off the new residents packed for the move, he had one thing unpacked shortly after he had gotten his keys: his binder full of materials for training at Resource, Inc. He’s working to earn a boilers license, ServSafe certificate and his Class D drivers license so he can get to work.
“I’m proud I’m able to transition over to a better place and be able to train toward a better job,” he said. “Maybe then I can save up some money and move out on my own.”