With Avivo’s help, Keo signed his first-ever lease on an apartment after experiencing homelessness for 30 years. Avivo is helping him achieve housing stability; something unlike anything he’s ever had in his life.
He was only seven years old when he came to the United States from Laos. “I didn’t know what is home … I didn’t know [when I was a kid] if I was homeless or not,” says Keo. “As a teenager I would go anywhere, sleep anywhere, eat anywhere.”
“I didn’t know what is home … I didn’t know [when I was a kid] if I was homeless or not.”
Living in his own apartment, Keo’s quality of life has improved quickly. “When you see this [apartment], you don’t want to go nowhere,” he says. “This is how people live? How do I learn to live like this?”
Keo’s adapting to his new life, but still needs support from Avivo staff. They help him solve other barriers in his life: getting to appointments, registering for health insurance, and registering for a green card.
“I see Keo once a week to check in,” says Lindsey, housing case manager at Avivo. Lindsey checks on how he’s handling his to-do list as he lives independently for the first time, and assists where needed.
“Avivo staff are awesome. I mean it, they are,” says Keo. “Without Lindsey I don’t have this home. God bless her.”
Living independently has its perks, and Keo has started exploring options he’s never had before. He works out at a gym in his building 3-4 times per week, and is learning how to cook.
“I’ve learned to cook lots of things,” he says. “Once you have your own kitchen it’s different … With your own stuff you can do whatever you want to do.”
“If you dream, you can have anything. You can be anything. You can do anything.”
Keo’s excited to finally be able to look toward the future and start creating goals. “I do have a dream,” says Keo, with a smile. Keo wants to become an American citizen, and is working with Avivo staff to find out how to make that happen.
“If you dream, you can have anything. You can be anything. You can do anything,” says Keo. “I just want to have my life. A good life. A healthy life.”