Elise M.

Street to Home Success Story / Elise M

“I know it was God that brought me through it.”  Humble words spoken by a humble man.  Elise fought back the tears as he told his story.  He was born in Alabama and moved to New York City with his mother when he was just a infant. Horribly, when he turned age of eleven, Elise watched helplessly as a man savagely assaulted and murdered his mother.  Terrified and alone, he ran to the streets and remained homeless for over 4 years, occasionally living with friends and eating whatever he could find.  In and out of jail due to hanging with the wrong crowd, finally his biological father found him and brought him to Georgia to live with him and his new family.  Elise found it difficult to except the love from them, especially from his stepmother, as he felt she could never replace his mother that he missed dearly.

As Elise entered adulthood, trouble seemed to follow him.  Fighting depression and anxiety he became addicted to alcohol and started a cycle of being in and out of prison.  As a result of this, he lost his wife and children.  In spite of educating himself in interior design and having a strong skill in auto body painting, Elise’s alcohol addiction made it hard to afford decent housing for himself and he remained homeless for long periods of time.  Finally he was connected to United Way of metro Atlanta and their partnership with Homes of Light.  Through this connection and supportive housing, he’s managed to get his life and most importantly, with counselling he received, his drinking under control.  He has met a special lady who he hopes one day to make his wife and he is also reestablishing a better relationship with his five daughters.  He believes that although he lost his own mother at a young age, she has always been his guardian angel watching over him.  He is forever grateful to United Way and Homes of Light for their patience and support during his time of need.