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“I really love this place.”

After serving in the Army’s airborne division from 1983-86, Earl made a life for himself in Atlanta, Georgia. For the next 25 years, Earl found a career working in both the private security sector and in construction. Rarely does life come without conflict though, and in 2005 Earl’s life took an unfortunate turn. Diagnosed with cancer, Earl continued to work through his treatments before ultimately being told by his doctors that he could no longer work, following a 2009 surgery.

“My doctors told me I couldn’t work anymore,” Earl remembers. “I really didn’t have anywhere to go, no income. I decided to return home to Detroit and my mom.”

Back in Detroit, Earl began receiving treatment from the John D. Dingell VA Medical Center. Shortly after, more misfortune came Earl’s way, as he found himself homeless and living in a Volunteers of America shelter. Still, like the hard worker he was in his younger years, Earl helped himself by finding information to better his situation. He learned of the NSO Bell Building and has now been living in the apartment complex since November of 2012.

“I really love this place,” Earl says of the community. “It really helps re-establish you back into society, improves your self-worth.”

At the NSO Bell Building, Earl can be seen in a light reminiscent of his working days in Atlanta. Gathering residents for weekend cleanups around neighborhood, serving on the building’s tenant committee, an active attendee at weekly cooking classes and career service meetings, and even giving his two cents to the ongoing construction work happening within the Bell Building’s walls. Earl is all about staying active and giving back to the NSO community that has given him so much.

“I love to get involved with the community here. There are plenty of opportunities here for a person to get involved, and to better their situation,” Earl says. “For me, the opportunity to stay active is great. It keeps me moving, and keeps me feeling alive.”

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