If you ran into Quinton Smith during one of the Star of Hope Chapel services, you’d probably think he was a minister. At 33-years old, Smith is younger than most of the other homeless men and doesn’t have the rough scars that come from a hard life.
“Grew up through the system, you know, foster homes.”
You could say the odds were against him from day one. It was the rough childhood that led to a life of drugs and alcohol. It was the substance abuse that led to poor decisions.
“I did some things I wasn’t supposed to do at my last job and they fired me.”
Smith had nowhere to go. His mother was an addict and his siblings weren’t in much better shape than he was.
Since moving into the Star of Hope’s Men’s Shelter, Smith has been attending Chapel several times a day. He also sees a therapist and a case worker who’s helping him get his life in order.
“I used to blame everyone else but myself. I’m starting to take accountability, try to learn from my mistakes. Especially my birthday is on Saturday, so I’m trying to put everything in perspective.”
If things aren’t tough enough, Smith has a ten year old son he doesn’t get to see while he’s in the shelter. Instead of giving up, Smith says he’s relying on his faith for the strength to stay sober and turn his life around and get back to his son.
“I just want to be a better role model for him, make sure he doesn’t have to go through the same thing I’m having to go through with the last ten years, shelters and dealing with the life elements and struggle.”
Quinton Smith doesn’t have a booming voice like another homeless man who recently made national news. He may make it out with his cooking skills. He is training to be a chef.
“I just want to do better and not be tempted and just stay focused on my goals.”
But staying focused and battling the demons of drugs isn’t easy — so he prays and takes things one day at a time.