Success Stories

Dock St. Walking & Running has helped many people find the strength to rise up from homelessness and better their lives. Here is a statement from one such courageous member:

I am a U.S. Coast Guard veteran, a fulltime student at Highline Community College … and an active member of the Dock St Walking and Running Club. The Dock St Club helped me stay focused and positive about my life getting better. The encouragement and emotional support of the other members made a huge difference to me. Without it, I might not have had the courage to keep trying … the Dock St Club played a big role in getting me where I am now in my ‘recovery’ and will continue to help me pursue my goals and obtain them. I don’t fear becoming homeless again. Thank you Dock St! Read full testimonial >>

— BRIAN G.


Full Statement

MARCH 30, 2013 — “I became homeless in June of 2012. Having a master’s degree did not protect me from the Recession or keep me from becoming homeless. I found myself on the streets of Tacoma with everything I still owned in a small bookbag I wore on my back, sleeping outside in vacant lots. A week later I was living in an emergency shelter and began applying for help from any source I could find.

Three weeks after I became homeless I began going to the Dock ST workouts. At first I only walked, but as I became more hopeful about the future, I found I had more energy and began running instead. The Dock ST Club helped me stay focused and positive about my life getting better. The encouragement and emotional support of the other members made a huge difference to me. Without it, I might not have had the courage to keep trying.

A veteran services specialist told me about the new VRAP program for eligible military veterans, so I applied for VRAP funding and chose Highline Community College’s Hospitality and Tourism Management Program at the same time. The travel industry is one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy, both in the United States and internationally.

My personal background makes me a good fit for this field: I am a dual citizen of the United States and the Republic of Ireland, and I’m bilingual in English & Spanish. My father was from Aguascalientes, Mexico, and my mother is from Co. Kildare, Ireland (near Dublin). Under Irish law, I’m automatically a citizen because my mother is Irish-born. As an Irish citizen, I have the legal right to live and work anywhere in the European Union (EU). This will make me a very attractive candidate to businesses in the travel industry with branches in EU countries, as well as companies doing business in Mexico.

I’ve recently signed up with the Landlord Liaison Project in Tacoma and will soon be getting my own apartment. This was unthinkable to me in the first few weeks of my homeless odyssey; the Dock ST Club played a big role in getting me where I am now in my ‘recovery’ and will continue to help me pursue my goals and obtain them. I don’t fear becoming homeless again. Thank you Dock St!”

— BRIAN G.