Antonio takes pride in working. He had two jobs; one as a clerk at 7-Eleven and another as a mover with North American Van Lines. He could take care of himself and didn’t have to ask anyone for help.

That all changed after a life-altering car accident. Antonio injured his back, which caused a bulging disc and Sciatica, a condition where pain radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve that runs along your leg. He also has range of motion issues due to cartilage deteriorating between the vertebrae of his spine.

Because of Antonio’s health issues, he lost his jobs and was forced to find shelter on the streets of Orlando.

Antonio has experienced homelessness for more than three years and is now waiting to become housed. Once he does find a home, it would make him feel whole again.

“I wouldn’t have to stay any anybody’s house,” Antonio said. “I might be able to bless somebody else one day that might be in a messed-up situation,” he continued. He wants somewhere that he can call home and use as a tool to not only help people but spend more times with his kids.

He has two children and wants to be a more hands-on parent. Because he’s still living on the streets, he can’t spend time with his children as much as he would like. Yet even without their constant presence, he has faith that he’ll have the chance to see them more often soon.

“My kids are what keep me hopeful.”

Through his pain and strife; living on the streets of Orlando, he still had hope for a better future.

“You cannot count anybody out just because they’re homeless,” Antonio said about his experience on the streets. “It could have been worse.”

Antonio’s hopes weren’t dashed as he was housed in January of this year. He’s happy to be in his own space and now has the chance to spend more time with his children.

“My kids are what keep me hopeful.”

- Antonio

on what keeps him hopeful