Before finding CASA, Kenneth was in and out of homelessness for more than 10 years. He battled depression, had multiple hospital stays, and he had given up. He said the only reason he is not homeless today is because of Arya, his canine companion for the last 10 years.

Kenneth adopted Arya after he moved in with a friend to help care for her. They bonded immediately. Once that was the case, he said taking care of her meant he couldn’t choose to be homeless anymore. He had to find a way out.

In Winston-Salem, Kenneth had a good job as a patient transporter. He lived in a trailer that he had almost paid off, and then it was gone. The man who owned the trailer park sold the property and all the contracts were void. Everyone was homeless. He lived outside for a year, and he remembers it being so much harder than the previous 5 years because now he had Arya to take care of.

“I had to take care of her before anything else.”

About 4 or 5 months ago when it looked like they would be getting off the street, someone helped Kenneth take Arya to the vet. “I was so worried that something would be wrong, that it would have been because we were homeless. But the vet said she was well cared for and it was such a relief.”

Things started to change. Kenneth was finally connected with CASA.

Kenneth has been in his apartment for a couple of months. He’s taking time to get settled, decompress, and heal from all he’s been through. H is happy to have a safe and comfortable space to do so with Ayra by his side. One of his favorite things about his apartment is being in a climate-controlled space again. He said he runs hot, and the air conditioning (even in the winter) feels incredible. As he gets settled, he’s looking forward to going back to school to be a CNA. He also connects with friends through a VR headset a friend of his gave to him. Despite it all, Kenneth tries to help others he sees on the street. He wants them to know it can get better and there are lots of resources to help. Kenneth looks back on all he’s overcome, and he knows Arya is to thank.