Fernando was born into a family plagued by alcohol and drug addiction and spent many years in and out of prison. During his final incarceration he resolved to do whatever it took to turn his life around, but walking away from his old life hasn’t come easy.
Fernando's prime years were spent behind prison gates with someone else dictating his daily routine. When his parents passed away in 2007, he had nowhere to turn except shelters, park benches, and abandoned buildings and cars. Diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and in fear of his past, he has lived the harsh reality of homelessness for more than 5 years.
Last week, with help from Project P4
, the collaborative leading the 100,000 Homes Campaign in Fresno, CA, Fernando moved into a permanent apartment in Santa Clara run by the Fresno Housing Authority
. “I have never had a place of my own," he said tearfully. "Tonight, I can sleep in my nice warm bed and I don’t have to be afraid anymore.”