Frankie is a big guy with a heart of gold and a story to tell. After almost 10 years
of being unstably housed and homeless, Frankie finally found his way home. His
home was an apartment on James Street in Hartford. The way Frankie tells it,
the apartment was great, but violence was erupting outside under his window.
Still, he didn’t mind. It was a welcome change after years spent in homeless
shelters, the streets, and rooming houses.
But then he was sent to the hospital for two weeks with congestive heart failure.
When he returned, he found the place ransacked. Someone had kicked in the
door and taken everything. “Except the clothes; thank God they didn’t take
those,” he said. After moving from his first apartment on James St, he shared his
story with us from his new apartment in the South End, secured for him by his
case worker at the Chrysalis Center. A case worker he calls an angel.
And entering Frankie’s apartment is a thing of wonder. Everything is so tidy and
everything has its place. He’s a self-proclaimed neat freak. When he moved into
this apartment, he had nothing but a tiny mattress pad. A tiny mattress pad is
tough place to sleep for a big guy like Frankie. But, thanks to Journey Home’s
Making a House a Home program, Frankie has an almost fully furnished
apartment. And he has also recently adopted a homeless kitten — Runty. Frankie
and Runty spend their days together in their beautiful new apartment, far away
from the streets.