Hassan #SuccessBells

February 1, 2017

“There is still hope, even when there are no means,” Hassan said. He finished the statement with a devout nod, the corners of his mouth coming to soft points before relaxing again. His smile suits him – it is warm and assuring, a testament to his personal mission of service to others.

Despite struggling with homelessness for the majority of his adult life, Hassan seeks the good in every day. His search for hope led him from New York to Los Angeles. He knew that change would not happen overnight, but he did not expect his journey to the West Coast to bring him to our Skid Row neighborhood – a place seen by the rest of the country as the epicenter of homelessness.

Living in a shelter without a place to keep his belongings, he was referred to The Bin, a facility that provides storage solutions to individuals struggling with homelessness. There, Hassan found more than just a safe place to keep his things, he found hope in the form of a Chrysalis staff member.

At The Bin, our staff member explained that we could help him get back to work and back on his feet. In no time, Hassan had completed our job preparation courses. As he thought through his previous experience and skills, he noted that working as a taxi driver could be an opportunity for him, and so he began taking steps to get his California driver’s license.

Hassan’s Employment Specialist provided him with some of the tools he needed to succeed, including professional interview attire, passes for public transportation, and a scholarship to help with the cost of his certification. He stayed diligent and determined as he worked toward overcoming the odds that were stacked against him. Then finally, he rang the Success Bell after landing a job as a driver.

Just as the clang of the Success Bell will stay with us, so will Hassan’s words of wisdom he shared on that special day. This is what he told us:

The ocean of life is not always peaceful. Sometimes the boat tips.

But without the storms, we would never discover the jewels that lie beneath…

..once we go down [to the bottom of the ocean], we have to decide whether we want to drown – or swim back up to the surface, richer from the jewels and stronger from the swim.

Hassan continues to meet with his Employment Specialist in hopes of continuing his forward progress. He knows that his job as a taxi driver is a first step on his path to self-sufficiency, but he dreams of having a career that will allow him to give back to his community. He is working toward those goals and recently applied for a new employment opportunity that would get him closer to his dream.

We are excited to see what lies ahead for Hassan as he continues to explore the ocean of life. No doubt, there will be more jewels, and, as always, Hassan will come out stronger on the other side.

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