Dave Foss

Homelessness was never something that David thought much about. He had a stable life living with his elderly mother in a house that she owned, a reliable job as a taxi driver, and no financial troubles. He didn't drink, he wasn't addicted to any substances; there was no reason for him to fear.

David's mother called him home from making trips to the airport one night, saying she didn't feel well. She would pass on that night in surgery, turning David's world upside down. His mother's business had accumulated debts that would ultimately cost him his home. After that, as he says, 

"The dominoes just went, house, job, vehicle, health, homelessness. I believe a lot of folks go through that situation."

After losing his home, David found himself regularly sleeping in his car, even on the coldest nights. Eventually, his car required maintenance that he couldn't afford, and he would lose his taxi job. He soon found himself camping out, in a situation that he never imagined he would find himself in. At the same time, years of driving long hours and irregular eating schedules took its toll on David's body. He soon became ill and was hospitalized for over a month, diagnosed with diabetes and a blood clot in his leg. When he was released, he was fortunate enough to find housing waiting for him at Harbor Place, a "homeless hotel" geared towards serving homeless individuals coming out of the hospital which is owned and operated by Champlain Housing Trust. 

At Harbor Place, David could feel his life starting to turn around. Though there were still challenges, such as keeping a regular diet despite only having access to a mini fridge and microwave, or relying heavily on limited public transportation. He was able to access the medical care that he badly needed while having a safe place to lay his head every night.

Eventually, David was offered a place at Decker Towers. He is driven to make a difference in his new neighborhood. He plays an active role on the Decker Towers Tenants Association Steering Committee, and serves as a representative on Burlington Housing Authority's Resident Advisory Board. 

"What I love about living here at Decker is that there are a lot of people that are amazing artists, photographers, or writers, and you learn about things like that....I know a lot of people here that, we come from all sorts of histories and different ways of life, and we use those to survive and help each other out. It's just like any other neighborhood."

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