Voices from the Emergency Shelter Part 2: Timmy W.

This month, the City of Asheville is sharing stories from people who have been staying in the emergency shelter at the Ramada Inn. Our partners at Sunrise Community for Recovery & Wellness have connected us with people at the Ramada who are interested in speaking about their experiences. We at the City of Asheville are humbled and grateful to everyone who has spoken with us, especially about something so personal.


We wanted to share these stories because they are powerful portraits of real people who live in our community. Often, the conversation around homelessness becomes centered around its impact on people who are not homeless. While it’s important to look at how homelessness affects our community as a whole, it’s crucial to understand that its greatest impact is to the people who are personally experiencing it and deepen our empathy and grace. 


From our partners at Sunrise Community for Recovery & Wellness:


What has Sunrise helped you with? 

“They helped me start thinking straighter and that helps me understand that I can have a better future than I could ever imagine. I am getting my birth certificate soon which is going to help me. I don’t get sloppy drunk anymore because I am used to staying by myself but now that I’m back in society I maintain myself a little better.”


How has living in the Ramada Shelter helped you? 

“It has helped me to adjust to living in society and has helped my social skills out a lot.”


Timmy lived on his own in a tent up the mountain for years. He told me that it got lonely up there which often times led him to drinking more than normal. He once had two years of sobriety and is willing to work towards becoming sober again, especially since he’s back in society!


People experiencing homelessness experience it in different ways and have different reasons that led to their homelessness. That’s why interventions that center the individual first are important. Connecting people to the appropriate resources that address their individual needs and barriers is critical to their successfully exiting homelessness and achieving their life goals. As we heard from Timmy W., one of his challenges was getting his drinking under control. We’re so glad to see how Sunrise has worked with Timmy on this challenge, and also with others staying at the Ramada Inn. In the last three months alone, 21 people have accessed substance abuse treatment! We at the City of Asheville thank Timmy for sharing his story of strength and courage with us. Timmy, we love to see the progress you’ve made and wish you all the best!