Day 6: Nathan’s story

The 2010 flood in Nashville was devastating for many people, including Nathan. When the waters of the Cumberland River spilled over, Nathan’s lower floor apartment and all of his personal belongings were destroyed. Nathan was left just the clothes on his back. With no other options, he returned to his hometown of Chattanooga. A family rift prevented Nathan from seeking help at home, so he spent a night on the street.

“You just go into this mode, it’s hard to explain,” Nathan said. “I guess it’s just survival mode.”

Already dealing with difficult circumstances, Nathan was soon faced with another challenge: he was diagnosed as HIV positive. He spent ten weeks living in relief shelters until a friend put him in touch with The Home Place, a transitional housing program for HIV patients operated by Catholic Charities of East Tennessee. The Home Place allowed Nathan to find peace in his surroundings with residents who share his sense of community.

Nathan recently moved into a home he shares with a friend. With income made from work as a self-taught computer software repairman, he is making plans to return to school. The Home Place has helped put Nathan on the path toward becoming a complete person again.

“I came here at the right time,” Nathan said. “This place was pivotal. With my diagnosis and homelessness, not being here would have been catastrophic to my well-being.”

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