May 23, 2022 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Success Breakfast Honoree Shares Story Of Leaving Behind A Life On The Street:

For six years, June Freeman lived on the streets of Santa Monica and Venice after a falling out with her partner that left her homeless soon after she moved from Colorado with him in 2006.

Self-labeled as one of the “dirty dozen” in Venice, Freeman said she lived in alleys and drank all day. That was until August last year when she had pain in her pancreas.

“I was lying on the sidewalk left for dead for two days,” Freeman said. “All my road dogs left me and I was all alone. I called my case manager at St. Josephs. I was picked up and taken to hospital. I was in hospital for five days. I had a blood clot in my lower leg from a knee injury on the streets. I was scared to death. My daddy died from pancreatitis four years ago. I knew then that this was it, I’ve got to change my ways.”

Freeman’s story was one of four shared at the 17th Annual Celebrating Success Breakfast at the Fairmont Miramar on Oct. 26. The event honored 27 previously homeless individuals who, with the support of local nonprofit agencies, have made extraordinary transitions from homelessness to lives filled with passion and promise.

The event also honored 12 local businesses, organizations, and individuals who have dedicated significant resources to supporting the member agencies of the Westside Shelter & Hunger Coalition (WSHC), and St. John’s Health Center, which received the 2012 WSHC Partnership Award.

Freeman spoke to the several hundred attendees about how she never listened to her case managers and had given up before her major health scare.

“I didn’t want to be part of this world anymore,” she said. “I lost my family contacts, I didn’t have any family here. Through the help of a lot of people out there who encouraged me to continue to ask for help, they sent me from the hospital to the OPCC/ Samo Shell program which is sponsored by Saint John’s. I was there for two months. I asked my case manager what was my next step, and I was told to try to get into transitional housing. I waited another two weeks and I was accepted into the day break program for women and I ended up doing well there. I learned how to do everything over again that I had forgotten on the streets from brushing your teeth to washing your face. I didn’t look in the mirror because there was nothing to look at.”

Freeman, who said she suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, described how elated she was when she moved into her own place in April this year.

“When I was homeless, I felt like I lived in a fish bowl and everyone was looking at me at all times,” she said. “There was nowhere I could go where somebody wasn’t looking at me. When I got into my apartment, I just laid on the floor and I stayed there for about six days. I ordered food in, I started meditating, and praying again.”

She said she started going to church and reconnected with her family for the first time in six years.

“I went and saw my mom and my granny,” she said. “My granny is 94 years old and she gives me my strength, she’s my mentor. I asked my grandma how she does it, and she said ‘you just do with what you’ve got.’ You know, that is the truth. I learned to do with what I had out there.”

Now that her life is back on track, she said she visits her friends who are still homeless to encourage them to change their lives.

“I say ‘go to the case managers, go to your appointments,’” she said. “I was fortunate enough that my case managers came to me a lot because I was not compliant with showing up to the offices. It was very scary sitting in an office and closing the door. I wouldn’t let anyone close the door for months. I’m overcoming a lot of trauma that happened to me on the streets. I’m so blessed that St. Josephs has been there for me as well as my case managers. I’ve been there for years and they have seen me through all of my trials. I’m physically disabled now and they have helped with all my doctor appointments. I’m allowed to just live. Now I’m volunteering for St. Josephs and hope that maybe someday I can help more people in the community.”

in News
Related Posts

Los Angeles Metro Sees 15.9 Percent Increase in Median Rent

May 20, 2022

May 20, 2022

Median rent of $2,258, according to recent report By Dolores Quintana The ongoing pandemic has exacerbated the issues of housing...

New Renderings for Frank Gehry Hotel Development in Santa Monica

May 20, 2022

May 20, 2022

Project would include hotel, apartments, retail and a museum By Dolores Quintana Slowly but surely, plans for a  Frank Gehry-designed...

Shared Mobility Plummets in Santa Monica

May 20, 2022

May 20, 2022

Recent report also shows that nearly half of riders make over $100,000 By Sam Catanzaro Shared mobility use in Santa...

Christopher Dishlip Selected as Santa Monica’s New Assistant Director of Public Works

May 20, 2022

May 20, 2022

Public Works Director Rick Valte announced the selection of Christopher Dishlip as Santa Monica’s new Assistant Director of Public Works....

Letter to Editor: Response to Himmelrich’s “We Walk the Talk” Column

May 20, 2022

May 20, 2022

By Beau Marks As a Santa Monica resident, I am dismayed by Sue Himmelrich’s response (“We Walk the Talk,” Santa...

Motional And UberEats Launch Autonomous Deliveries In Santa Monica

May 18, 2022

May 18, 2022

There Are Plans For Expansion Into The Rest Of Los Angeles Motional, a global driverless technology leader, and Uber Technologies...

Winston Pies Opening Third Location In Santa Monica

May 18, 2022

May 18, 2022

The restaurant used to be known as ButterCrust Pies Winston Pies is staying in Santa Monica when opening their third...

Only 10 Vaquita Porpoises Survive, But The Species May Not Be Doomed

May 17, 2022

May 17, 2022

Hope remains for the porpoise species not only survive but thrive with human help. By Stuart Wolpert The vaquita porpoise,...

The American Cinematheque Brings “Bleak Week” To Santa Monica’s Aero Theatre And The Los Feliz Three Theatre

May 17, 2022

May 17, 2022

33 Films From 18 Countries In One Week. By Dolores Quintana Sometimes when things are tough and you’re feeling down,...

Man Who Murdered His Family Members Pleads Guilty To Five Other Killings

May 16, 2022

May 16, 2022

Escobar injured an additional seven other people as well.  By Dolores Quintana A man, Ramon Escobar, has pleaded guilty to...

The price of gasoline in Los Angeles County Has Experienced The Largest Increase Since February

May 16, 2022

May 16, 2022

Gasoline prices in Orange County Have Also Increased By Dolores Quintana Regular self-serve gasoline in the county of Los Angeles...

Santa Monica Travel Summit Of 2022 Returns To Take On Tomorrow

May 16, 2022

May 16, 2022

The Event Was Held At The Jonathan Club On Santa Monica Beach By Staff Writer The 2022 Santa Monica Tourism...

City Council Extends Santa Monica’s Parklet Program: Santa Monica Beat – May 16th, 2022

May 16, 2022

May 16, 2022

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes.* City Council Extends Santa Monica’s Parklet Program * Santa Monica High School Students...

1221 Ocean Avenue Complex Sold For Record Price

May 16, 2022

May 16, 2022

Sold for a record price of $330 million. By Dolores Quintana The Irvine Company has sold 1221 Ocean Avenue to...

Office Construction Is Starting To Rise In Los Angeles

May 15, 2022

May 15, 2022

Property vacancies are still affecting growth.  By Dolores Quintana In March, the Los Angeles Metropolitan area had 3.2 million square...