Since 2011, George has been a proud resident of the Essex. Originally from Memphis, music and faith have always been a big part of George’s life. Both of his parents played piano and sang in church. For as long as he can remember, he’s enjoyed singing gospel and doo wop for fun.
Making a move
When he first moved to San Francisco, George didn’t have a permanent place to stay and before long experienced homelessness. He first found shelter at St. Vincent’s until he moved into transitional housing for several months. After working with a case manager, he was able to move into his home at the Essex. Here he found much needed stability and was able to become more independent. Always grounded in his faith, George connected with fellow residents and created a new-found sense of community. “Everyone goes through trials and tribulations in life, you have your ups and downs – which is why it’s good to keep your faith and hold on; that’s very important.”
Rekindling his passion
Since moving George has been able to rekindle his passion for music and worked with Resident Services to get space in the Essex community room to practice. Now he has his own equipment to practice privately within the comfort of his home, and since his place is a corner unit of the Essex, he can practice without disturbing his neighbors.
The future is bright
George is grateful to call Essex his home and end his experience with homelessness, but now he is ready to venture out on his own and looks forward to his next step–moving into a permanent home where he can entertain friends and make beautiful music. Living at the Essex has stabilized his life to a point where he feels ready to move and is currently working with Resident Services staff member Casey to get a voucher to move into his own apartment.
George has had diverse experiences singing; from performing at birthday parties and weddings, to City Hall and clubs throughout the Bay Area. One special experience was a gig for a music video specifically about homeless. R&B, gospel, and country and western are a few of his favorite musical genres, honoring his Memphis roots. He even dreams of someday having a record deal, proving that when you have a place to call home, anything is possible.