A Downward Spiral
Although he dropped out of school when he was young, Ervin ultimately taught himself to read, got his GED and worked as a hospital nurse. But learning he was HIV positive triggered a return to drug use that spiraled into homelessness. Returning to New York to be near family, Ervin became sober and found housing – but when he lost that home to the pressures of gentrification, he once again started using.
When Ervin (and his cats) came to the service organization Housing Works, he found not only a home but a mission. As a part of this dynamic group, he now works with others to end the twin crises of homeless and HIV. He maintains his health through exercise, HIV treatment and a passion for advocacy. He sat down with case manager Frances Jordan to talk about his turning point.