Miguel V.

Lives at Donner Lofts in San Jose.

After two years of living in his car, one man finds peace and stability in permanent affordable housing.

Miguel calls Donner Lofts home.

Miguel calls Donner Lofts home.

Miguel is a lifelong San Jose resident and proud grandfather. A few years ago, Miguel’s life as he knew it suddenly changed. His marriage crumbled and he moved out of the house, and soon after, Miguel lost his job with the San Jose Unified School District. Although he found a new job fairly quickly, washing cars for a rental company at the San Jose airport, it was hard to make ends meet and afford a place to live. Eventually, Miguel became homeless.

Most of the time, Miguel slept in his own car. With all of his belongings piled up inside, he was never able to lay the seat down, making it hard to sleep. He would sometimes have to go without showers. Without access to a kitchen, he didn’t eat well. Miguel couldn’t address his health issues property and his health severely declined.

A social worker discovered Miguel was living in his car and directed him to Abode Services’ homeless and supportive services program. From there, the doors opened up. Miguel learned about Donner Lofts – a new community in construction. Miguel watched as Donner got built, waiting and hopeful, and when it came time, he was one of the first residents to apply and move in.

Donner Lofts

Donner Lofts in San Jose: 102 affordable workforce efficiency studios with 20 units set-aside for formerly homeless individuals.

Today, Miguel feels happy and safe living in his new apartment. He is still working at the airport, and he’s finally able to address his health issues. Miguel eats healthier meals and he can now do something he hasn’t been able to for a long time – cook for others!

“A home to call my own provides me with opportunities to achieve new goals,” Miguel said at Donner Lofts’ Grand Opening celebration. “I want to give back and help others in the same situation I was. We need more housing like Donner Lofts – places that are safe and supportive for hardworking people who are just one paycheck away from homelessness.”