Green Doors Blog > Resident Stories: Victor Nelms

Resident Stories: Victor Nelms

Victor NelmsVictor Nelms’ apartment is perfectly neat. His kitchen is spotless. He has a firm handshake and looks you in the eye when he says hello. And he uses your name when he speaks, like he’s known you for years. You’d never know that he was living on the streets four years ago. Or that he was addicted to crack for most of his adult life and wasted a career in the Army getting high. But it doesn’t take long for him to tell you all about it.

He’s not proud of his long, painful and destructive past, but he thinks you have to understand what he’s been through to appreciate what he’s doing now. He was introduced to Green Doors after in-patient substance abuse treatment at the VA in Temple. Victor lives alone in a small apartment on Sweeny Circle, one of Green Doors’ residential properties. He takes the bus or rides his bike to his job at the City of Austin, and his boss will tell you that he’s never late for work. Before Sweeny Circle, he lived with three roommates at another Green Doors apartment where he learned to “deal with people with whom I rarely agreed” – a polite way of saying he didn’t like them. But he made it work, because he wanted to live a life he could be proud of and knew this chance could be his last.

And he’s still making it work. He’s four years sober. He’s two years into his job and has his eyes set on a supervisor position. And he’s already thinking about his next apartment. He is proud of what he has accomplished, and has higher expectations for himself. And Victor is proudest that he has been able to reconnect to his family, especially his mother. He had not spoken with her in years, but has recently reestablished contact and is mending that important relationship.

His commitment and his success are perfect examples of how we are helping turn lives around, and how it’s our residents that do most of the work.

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Green Doors

Green Doors transforms lives and neighborhoods for people in need in Central Texas. From our award-winning neighborhood revitalization projects to our flagship scattered-site transitional housing model, Green Doors' Opportunity-Based Housing Programs not only create affordable housing for low-income communities; they simultaneously create access to socio-economic opportunities – such as quality education, nutrition, transportation, and employment -- that might otherwise be out of reach. Green Doors owns 28 properties in Travis County and manages 50 housing rental assistance vouchers for low-income households in Travis, Williamson and Burnet Counties, housing nearly 400 people annually throughout Central Texas. The broad demographics of our residents reflect what it looks like to be at-risk of homelessness today: veterans, single-parent families, people with disabilities, and the working poor.

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