My First Experience With Homelessness
“I first came to Florida in 2011. I was uninsured and stayed with my sister in Sanford. I was becoming really ill and because I did not have health insurance, the trips to the emergency room were relentless. After almost a year of declining health issues, I still couldn’t afford my medicine and my health was only becoming worse.
One day my sister finally suggested that I visit a resource center called The Sharing Center on 25th Street in Sanford. So I did just that. I met a woman. I explained my situation and the following Thursday, I was on a medical mobile unit seeing a doctor for free. I also received vouchers provided by The Sharing Center to receive free insulin that I could not afford on my own.
In 2012, I visited The Sharing Center more often because I learned they offered food assistance as well by providing food for families who had little or nothing at all. I stopped visiting The Sharing Center in 2014 once I was able to get Social Security benefits not knowing three years later I would become homeless.
I was on the street walking around aimlessly at times. Having to get ice in different places or wherever possible to keep my insulin cold and from going bad. At The Sharing Center once again, I found the help I needed to at least ease my stress about my medicine and having a place that provided different resources that were essential to my needs. It was through this wonderful blessing, that God bestowed on me The Sharing Center. I can proudly say I have my own place now and gone are most of my major concerns. I live well now and still at The Sharing Center paying it forward to others who find themselves exactly where I was.
Thank you so much to the staff and donors for making all this possible for me. Sincerely, Ector Cruz.”
(Ector opted to not be photographed. The images are stock photos.)