Mike Bell wasn’t always homeless. But right before it happened, he was raising three girls, going through a separation and an unemployment check paid his rent. Bell didn’t get any specialized education when he was younger, so the jobs he found were always physical labor jobs. After so many years, he developed back problems that made physical jobs nearly impossible to complete.
Bell’s early life was tough. He started drinking at age 14 after losing a second sibling and witnessing a fatality at age 13. Suffering from PTSD and depression for most of his life, Bell’s life started to unravel around 2011 and he ended up homeless — for years.
“I was a mess,” said the 51-year-old. “The shelter in Olympia pretty much saved my life.”
Tucked away in Olympia is Quixote Village, a community of 30 homes that house formerly homeless individuals aged 18 and older. First lady Trudi Inslee visited the community Tuesday and spoke with staff about the community’s history, challenges and successes. She toured the village, met residents, saw the inside of Mike’s tiny home and walked around the community garden.
Read the rest of the story on the governor's Medium page.