David is a native Washingtonian – he was born at Bethesda Naval Hospital and grew up in Alexandria and Arlington. After getting a degree in communications, David became a successful business man. He had built his real estate practice into a thriving career and even traveled the world.
Then, right around the time the real estate market crashed in 2008, David’s business collapsed. In a matter of months, he went from having everything you could dream of to having nothing. His house, his cars, his savings, his comfortable lifestyle: all gone.
“I felt empty and at a loss,” he remembers. “I hated my life.”
To deal with the pain and disappointment, David started drinking and ended up homeless. “I had snow all over me, I was soaking wet, had bugs under my skin…it was a nightmare,” he says.
As despair consumed him, he became suicidal and ended up in the ER as many as 3 times a week. Physically, he was a wreck. But even worse, he felt hopeless—like he couldn’t get out from under the dark cloud of despair that shadowed him everywhere he went.
Then two years ago, David found his way to Miriam’s Kitchen. At first, he’d drop by for a quick meal, receive some clothing and then he would leave. But over time, the delicious meals and friendly staff made him feel like someone cared.
“Miriam’s Kitchen treated me like a human being,” David says. “They had faith in me, and that helped me to have faith in myself.”
MK Case Managers connected with David in the dining room and also out on the streets. They helped him to apply for benefits and for housing. “I’ll never forget the day Ger told me I was approved for housing,” David recalled, “It seemed surreal.”
David now lives in his own apartment in Petworth. He’s happier, his health has improved, and he’s laughing more—even joking with the new friends he’s making.
“This place gave me a rebirth I could never have fathomed,” he says. “It’s miraculous!”