A Day in the Life of A Supportive Housing Resident

On February 7th, Caritas of Austin celebrated the Grand Opening of Espero Rutland, our first housing development. Meaning “I hope,” Espero serves as a sanctuary and a home to 171 individuals who previously experienced homelessness. 

Felicia Perkins, one of the Caritas of Austin’s supportive housing residents, expressed her delight in having a home after twenty years of experiencing homelessness, and she’s thrilled to create a new routine around her new home. 

“Well, as much as you can have a routine with a two-year-old,” she said with a laugh and playful wink.

 7:00 a.m. 

Each morning, she wakes up with a smile. 

“It’s still unbelievable to me,” she said. “I open my eyes, see those white ceilings, and smile. It means the world to me to have my place. Something that’s mine.”

An avid coffee drinker, she enjoys spending her mornings with a cup or two with a splash of silence before her schedule is fully taken over by her two-year-old godson. 

8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

“We spend the morning coloring, playing with dinosaurs, and playing outside on the courtyard hill,” she said.

After an adventurous playtime outside, Felicia makes a pit stop in the community dining room for another cup of coffee. While her coffee is brewing, she and her godson wave and chat with folks in the community area. 

“It’s like a family,” she added. “We’ve all experienced homelessness, so we know how much a kind word or smile can really make someone’s day. We all try to shine some light on each other’s days.” 

1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Her afternoons look different depending on the day. She might meet with her case manager, Seth, while her godson naps. 

“He has been a great tool for me,” she said. “He deserves a lot of credit.” 

When she’s not meeting with her case manager, she continues to plan out how she will achieve one of her bucket list dreams  – writing a book about her life experiences. 

“That’s the thing about having housing,” Felicia said. “I can set and accomplish goals. Experiencing homelessness feels like purgatory; you’re just stuck, but now I’m moving forward.”

If there’s time in the afternoon, the duo will work on practicing their ABCs before it’s time for her dynamic sidekick to be picked up by his mom. 

After 6:00 p.m.

After a full day of caretaking, Felicia likes to relax in the evening with a nice dinner. 

“I’ve always loved cooking, and now I have a space where I can create some yummy stuff,” she said. 

A passionate gardener, Felicia is also gathering plants to decorate and cultivate.

“I love working with my hands, gardening and planting things, so I’m excited to be able to nourish and watch something grow,” she said.

Thanks to the support of our community, we’re ending homelessness in Austin and making our city more vibrant for all. To help Espero residents continue to rebuild well-being and get settled in their new spaces, you can purchase items off the Espero Amazon Wishlist!