After a challenging start in life, Mustafa’s journey to Ability Housing’s Gannet Pointe serves as a testament to resilience, determination, and the transformative power of community support. Abandoned by his teenage mother not long after he was born, Mustafa, now 62 years old, humorously quips that he’s been homeless since infancy. In fact, it was his declining health, including a life-altering leg amputation, and the loss of his adoptive mother’s home that eventually led him to experience homelessness after a successful career as a sought-after private security contractor.
Mustafa’s journey to finding a stable home at Gannet Pointe was marked by nearly three years of homelessness and a series of daunting challenges, including a bout with COVID-19 that left him hospitalized. He recalls the countless times he sought permanent shelter during this time, only to be turned away due to a lack of availability, inaccessibility, or safety concerns. It often felt like there was “no place for him at the inn.”
Despite these setbacks, Mustafa’s life took a positive turn when he learned about Gannet Pointe through the Samaritan Resource Center’s Lynn Montgomery and Nancy Martinez. Intrigued by the prospect of living in Kissimmee in a familiar neighborhood, he took a leap of faith by signing the lease sight unseen. The moment he stepped into his new apartment, he was “blown away” by the simple, yet life-changing conveniences he no longer took for granted: “I can get up when I want to get up. I can fall asleep when I want to fall asleep. I can wash my clothes without having to carry them on my back in a wheelchair.”
“I was just so grateful.” When I opened the door, which I thought was the bathroom, and saw a washer and dryer, I almost fell out of my chair.”
Since his arrival at Gannet Pointe, Mustafa has made remarkable strides in improving his quality of life. He now relishes the freedom to prepare his own nutritious meals, primarily consisting of fruits and vegetables. A healthy diet, sound sleep in a comfortable bed (a welcome change from sitting up in a wheelchair), and a newfound sense of inner peace have all contributed to his blood sugar levels returning to normal—a remarkable achievement considering the dangerous levels he battled while living on the streets.
“I am just so grateful. When you have been homeless you feel more gratitude. When you are homeless, you don’t have anything to do but pray and go to sleep. You don’t have a door to lock, you don’t have ADT. You’re on the street and anything can happen to you.”