“I was born here in Atlanta, GA and was the youngest of seven kids. My father was in the Air Force and taught me Judo, which I thought was really cool. When I grew up, I decided to follow in my father’s footsteps and join the military.

When I came home from my service, I started using drugs and alcohol to deal with the painful memories, and that led to me becoming homeless. I stayed in the woods in a huge tent. We called it ‘Tent City.’ It felt like a scary nightmare that I wanted to get out of. There were about 50 families total in Tent City, made up of all races and ages. My tent had a generator that gave me television, a microwave, and even a little radio. More people started to move out there, and it wasn’t good for me. I felt like I had to get away from the temptation, so I moved further out into the woods.

After about 4 years of living out in the woods, I knew I had to make a change. The drugs and alcohol were stopping me from helping myself. The extra encouragement I needed came from Gil at Homes of Light. I was introduced to him through an outreach they did in the woods. He got me into transitional housing and soon after that into permanent housing. I got help with medical needs, transportation, groceries and maintenance of my housing. Homes of Light helped me out tremendously. My life is fantastic and it’s getting better every day.”

John Warren is our ‪#‎Homeless2Hopeful‬ story for the month of May. He spends his free time helping with landscaping with Homes of Light’s gardening project, attending church and enjoying a delicious meal at Midway Grill in EAV.