Valet Job Helps Homeless Man Get Back On His Feet
Andrew Copeland's job as a parking valet at OhioHealth Grant Medical Center means more than a paycheck to him.
It's keeping his dignity alive.
“People think if you’re homeless, you’re pushing a cart somewhere under a freeway. Do I look like that? No. I work every day,” said Copeland.
His problem is finding affordable housing.
The job he worked for five years before this one just never paid enough. Eventually, the deficit caught up him and he lost his apartment.
A bunk at the Volunteers of America shelter in South Columbus serves as Copeland’s home now. He's thankful for the helping hand but is determined not to get comfortable with it.
Copeland's new job pays better and he's already looking for another place.
“If I lose my pride, I might actually be one of those guys sleeping under a tree. My pride kept me together. I'm not going to let this situation define who I am.”
The biggest hurdle now is finding someone to rent to him. He says having an eviction on his housing record limits his options.
“So that's my problem. And, if you do find someone who wants to rent to you, it's going to be a slumlord, and I at least want to find a place my kids can come through.”
Copeland's confident that every morning he wakes at up 4:30 to catch a bus by 5:30 to get to his job by 6:30, he's one day closer to realizing his goal...a home.