Fall 2015 – A life transformed through housing – Paul Mohammed

Paul Mohammed shares his story of homelessness. Photo by Angela Gonzalez

Paul Mohammed shares his story of homelessness. Photo by Angela Gonzalez

By Angela Gonzalez, Communications Coordinator

Paul Mohammad was one of the first residents of Homeward Bound who has maintained self- sufficiency upon overcoming alcohol abuse and the underlying symptoms. Originally from Atka, Paul was ten years old when he and his seven siblings moved to Anchorage in 1960. He and his siblings were adopted into two families’ homes in Anchorage where he graduated from high school in 1966 and entered the Army. He served in Thailand and at Ft. Benning and Ft. Wainwright before being honorably discharged in 1969. He held jobs at the Alaska Railroad and worked on the Alaska Pipeline.

Due to his alcohol use, Paul began to have difficulty holding down jobs and maintaining a stable home. In 1997, after struggling with these concerns for many years and entering alcohol treatment numerous times, Paul came to Homeward Bound. Paul was hired as a janitor at a local car dealership. After graduating from Homeward Bound in 1999, Paul has continued to maintain his employment with the car dealership for over ten years.

“After being on the streets for so long, I didn’t know where to start when I got sober,” said Paul. “Having supportive people and services helped me break the cycle of addiction so I could rebuild my life.” Paul’s strength and courage to overcome years of homelessness and alcoholism inspire others to begin their journey toward recovery.

Today, Paul has a steady income, a home, a vehicle and the pride of many accomplishments. We celebrate the successes of people like Paul. He epitomizes the difference community action can make with a little helping hand. Since its inception in 1997, the Homeward Bound program has housed 557 people. It is a 25-bed transitional living facility located in Mountain View in Anchorage that provides chronic homeless alcoholics a continuum of supportive services to address the transition from homelessness to permanent housing and self-sufficiency.

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