Return to List of Our Stories
“Without this program, I'm not sure I would be here. They didn't give up on me.”
Pine Street Inn is not where an eighty-two year old man with prostate cancer should be living. But three years ago, Frank had no other choice. The building where he rented his apartment was foreclosed on, and his income was too low to find a new place in Boston. Frank was forced to go to the shelter. He describes the experience staying at Pine Street as frightening and overwhelming. “I never liked a minute of it, but the situation warranted that I do something,” he says. Frank kept to himself, and tried to avoid the drugs, the alcohol use, and the fighting among the other men.
Frank stayed at Pine Street for three months before a shelter counselor introduced him to the Elders Living at Home Program (ELAHP). Once accepted into the program, he was given a bed upstairs in ELAHP’s twenty bed transitional unit. Frank says he was immediately more comfortable once he moved upstairs. “It was more quiet, they took me to the doctor, and my health improved a lot,” he says. A nurse with ELAHP made sure Frank had his medication, that he got to his medical appointments, and that he ate properly.
After nine months in the transitional unit, Frank moved again to a unit for men with serious health problems. He has been staying there for two years, while continuing to work with ELAHP on finding permanent, affordable housing. Frank credits the staff at ELAHP for saving his life. He says, “Without this program, I'm not sure I would be here. They didn't give up on me, even when the prostate cancer was so bad.” When asked if he ever gave up on himself, Frank shakes his head emphatically and says “Personally, I didn't give up. I believe in powers beyond man's power.” Recently, more than two years of searching for a safe, affordable place for Frank to live seem to have paid off. An opportunity has come up, and he and his workers at ELAHP are hopeful that he will be housed very soon.