When Soto Morales arrived at Pinellas Hope in July 2017, he was suffering from extreme medical problems and was homeless. He was afraid of his illness and having no place to stay, but he was also ready for a second chance at a new life.
In the beginning of his journey with Catholic Charities he struggled to find hope but soon understood that he was surrounded by people that care and wanted to help. Soto became homeless due to his drug addiction and the serious repercussions his drug use caused him physically. His drug use caused a rare and debilitating neurological disorder and now years later he continues to experience severe spasms throughout his body despite no longer using drugs. The spasms have prevented Soto from working or pursuing any of his passions. As a result, he applied for Social Security Disability and with the assistance of pro bono representation by an attorney with a law firm which provides in-kind legal service to Pinellas Hope, he won his case.
Soto, like other Pinellas Hope residents, was able to qualify for housing in the Pinellas Hope Apartments (subsidized, permanent, supportive efficiency units behind the homeless shelter) and continues to live here. He feels he has the support and stability to move forward with his life and hopes that in the future he will be able to share his story with many and help motivate others to value sobriety and realize how full life can be when you seek the help you need.