Taking photographs was Brett’s passion and way to capture memories. Over 30 years, Brett’s sizable collection outgrew his apartment’s wall space. His art was so striking that it proved to be an extra source of income to help pay bills and live in his San Francisco apartment.
“Finding beauty in daily moments brought meaning and joy to my life. It allowed me to reflect on all the good times.”
Brett’s artwork was also therapeutic.
“Whenever I felt angry or overcome with sadness, taking photos and looking at them helped me pull through whatever I was feeling. It was my medicine.”
Then things took a turn for the worse: Brett was diagnosed with HIV and spiraled into depression.
“The physical and emotional pain was unreal. I couldn’t take pictures, felt ashamed, and lost my will to live.”
As his illness progressed, Brett was unable to hold his regular job and filed for disability. After 3 months, his financial reserves were gone, bills stacked up, and disability coverage nowhere to be found. His landlord demanded payment.
“I tried to sell my art, even those special pieces not meant to be sold. But it wasn’t enough to hold me over. One day I opened the door and found an eviction note.”
Shortly after, Brett moved to his Jeep; his framed pictures crowded in the trunk. After living in his car for months without health insurance, Brett’s health grew unstable. Like many, he found himself homeless and unable to pay for his HIV medication and food. Brett’s health deteriorated and he ended up in the ER in critical condition.
“Words can’t describe how thankful and lucky I am that I was referred to Maitri. Without Maitri, I would have died.”
Brett found the care and support he needed at Maitri. Through the combination of our 24-hour nursing care, mental health support, social work, and nutritional meals, Brett’s health began to stabilize. And, after recovering his strength, Brett hung 30 of his photographs in his private room at Maitri.
“The care here is unbelievable. For the first time in years I want to live! I want to take more photographs and share them. I can’t wait for the new year.”
Thanks to his Maitri Care Team, Brett will soon be moving into affordable housing.
Thanks to YOU, Brett received the tailored health care and Social Work support he needed stabilize his health and find affordable housing. Because of your support, Brett, and other people in need, get second chances rooted in love, kindness, and compassion. Because of you, Brett can safely transition to a home he can call his own and focus on what he does best: capture the beauty around him.