“Thank God for putting Talbot House in my path.”
Otis explains that he had good parents and a sufficient upbringing, but made poor choices in his youth. Nevertheless, he turned his life around when he moved to New York, earned a stable job, and built a family. After 18 years in New York, he was notified by the federal government that someone reported him as deceased. This led to a series of unlucky events where Otis lost his house, his car, and much more. He felt as though he was being erased from the world, feeling his identity, hopes, and faith slipping away. After losing everything Otis was forced to return to Florida, where he grew up. As a tall man of color with no identification or home, Otis felt terrified to be on his own. He spent many hours in the Social Security office trying to prove their records were false and that someone had made fraudulent claims of his death. He became lost, angry, and confused. How could this happen, he wondered, and why?
Luckily, Otis was encouraged by acquaintances to seek help from Talbot House. He worked intensely with his case manager and other staff members to renew his license, social security card, and other identifying documents. He is forever grateful towards Talbot House for helping him get his life back again.
Looking back, Otis recognizes how close he came to returning to old, bad habits because of convenience and sheer desperation. Instead, at Talbot House he learned: “there will always be bad choices available, but you have to look for the good, create the good, and be the good.” Otis also reflects that, as a man, he struggled to ask for help because of societal pressure and fear of looking weak. However, Talbot House gave him the space, time, and resources to help get his life straight. He acknowledges that asking for help was the strongest thing he could do.
Through hard work and with support from Solutions staff, Otis has recently landed a job at Keymark Corporation! We are confident Otis will prosper in this position as he works toward a better future.
Join us in congratulating Otis on his great progress.