San Diego, Calif. – Robert Hudson has lived in San Diego most of his life. He is a Deacon at his local church, a leader in the community, and someone who regularly shares his life experiences to help and inspire those around him. When talking to Robert, his love for his community is apparent and his desire to make a difference in the lives he touches in seen in his actions and his words.
Before moving to Encanto Village, Robert spent nearly two years without housing. Despite owning his own landscaping business and taking odd jobs throughout the region, he could not keep up with the soaring costs of rental apartments. He found shelter at St Vincent de Paul in downtown San Diego, where he met other men who were struggling to find work to make ends meet.
“I know how it is to look for work and not find it, doors are slammed in your face,” Robert says, “These guys are reaching out and trying to find any avenue to work, but they get shot down by most other companies.” After hearing the same story over and over, he decided that he needed to help these men, to inspire them to move beyond homelessness and their situation.
Every day at the shelter, Robert would wake up with his motto for resilience and tenacity, “get up, get out, get on.” He enjoyed kitchen duty in the mornings, using the time to inspire and uplift others. And then at 9:00 a.m., he would gather up a few men from the shelter and offer them work on his landscaping jobs, encouraging them to start the process of getting back on their feet. At the end of the day, many of the men would ask Robert to hold onto their money, so they could begin saving for the future.
For nearly two years, this was Robert’s life, until he heard about Encanto Village. Robert learned about the opportunity to live at Encanto Village through the Alpha Project and was able to apply to the waitlist. Once approved, Robert knew this was the key he was searching for to stabilize his life.
As he moved into his new home, Robert thought, “This will be my home until the Lord says different.” Encanto Village has provided Robert an apartment he can afford and a place he is proud to call home. Like so many National CORE residents, the affordable rents and onsite resident services allows Robert the opportunity to rebuild his life and thrive. In the short time he has been at Encanto Village, he has been able to grow his business, provide more job opportunities to men experiencing homelessness, and to help others on their path to a better future.
In his own words, he describes what he does simply as, “I help people. I open a door; I open a window. Once I open it, I encourage them, and I have lots of faith.”
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About National Community Renaissance (National CORE)
National Community Renaissance, based in Southern California, is one of the nation’s largest nonprofit developers of affordable housing. National CORE manages nearly 9,000 affordable, senior, and market-rate units in California, Texas, and Florida. National CORE’s strength is in its ability to offer partners an array of in-house capabilities that navigates the complexities of planning, developing, building, managing, and providing supportive services. For more information on National CORE, please visit www.nationalcore.org.
Jill Van Balen