Prince W.

Lives at Arroyo Green in Redwood City

Collaborative community efforts take one senior veteran from homelessness to housing.
Share on twitter
Share on facebook

In this own words:

“My name is Prince and I’m 65 years old. I’m an Army veteran and longtime Bay Area resident. I moved into my new apartment at Arroyo Green in May of 2021. Living here has changed my life for the better.

I always say that I walk by faith and not by sight. This is especially true in the path I’ve taken in these past few years. I needed faith to know I could move forward.

In April of 2011, my family’s life changed forever. My son, Adam, was murdered in a senseless act of violence. He was a wonderful young man who left behind a 4-year-old son, an Oakland Unified school community that loved him where he was an after-school aide, and a hole in our hearts forever.

Although we were able to bring my son’s killers to justice, it’s been a tough path to walk. My wife and I eventually separated due in part to our trauma and grief, and I also had to take an early retirement from my custodial job with OUSD due to a stroke and other health issues. By 2019, I was homeless, bouncing around couches and living out of my car.

I knew I couldn’t live like this – without stable housing and in poor health. I needed help.

I reached out to the VA when I was at my lowest. I walked by faith then; I couldn’t see how I would be helped. But the VA helped me and it changed my life.

The VA connected me with LifeMoves in San Jose and I was able to stay in temporary housing right away. That was a big relief and it gave me some space to address my health issues. At the same time, I was connected with the San Mateo County Department of Housing – that’s how I learned about this new community being built by MidPen Housing in Redwood City, Arroyo Green. I was hopeful that this could be the place I call home. I walked by faith into my new apartment. 

I love living here at Arroyo Green. Everything is accessible and I feel safe and secure here. I am able to take care of my medical issues. I can connect with the services and activities onsite. I walk downtown and enjoy the neighborhood. I even like going up to the game room on the 7th floor to play pool – I turn on some Al Green and set up the rack to see if I still got it. I walked by faith and not by sight – and although there were times I could not see the path ahead, I had faith. I want to thank everyone who helped me along the way to get to Arroyo Green, you were placed on my path by a higher power. It’s all coming together, all this help I’ve received, and it’s a beautiful thing.”