Lighting the Way Forward: Hollis’s Story

When Central Floridians like Hollis find themselves in difficult situations, Pathlight HOME is there to help them start anew – without judgment, preconditions, or stigma.

An experienced electrician and former union representative, Hollis Berry never expected to find himself with nowhere to live. But when he moved south to Florida a few years ago to pursue new job opportunities, the promising new chapter in his life took a turn for the worse.

 

During the COVID-19 lockdowns, a wave of furloughs at Hollis’s workplace left him in a precarious position, marking the start of several difficult years – and last autumn, his troubles began to multiply.

 

“Right around Thanksgiving, my vehicle went down unexpectedly, and I ended up losing my job,” he recalls. “My brother was staying with me – he’s from the Caribbean originally – and he didn’t have his job yet, so my income was all we had.” 

 

Hollis got his car towed thanks to a generous neighbor, but he and his brother soon fell behind on rent and were forced to move out. He called around town looking for somewhere to stay and found a shelter not far from Pathlight HOME’s resource center.

 

“As soon as I found out that Pathlight was there, I went in to see if I could sign up,” says Hollis. “They tied me into finding jobs, they helped me get access to continuous healthcare, and got me on the SNAP system – and in a month and a half, I was able to get my car back, find a job as an industrial electrician, and get back on my feet.” 

 

Going back to work meant more than a paycheck for Hollis: It was a return to stability and personal independence. “When I got the job, I said, ‘Now I’ve got money coming in, I want to pay for my own space and move on,’” he says. “And that’s what I’ve been able to do thanks to Pathlight.”

 

Today, Hollis continues to pursue bigger and better opportunities in his career as an electrician, and he hopes that he’ll soon be able to return to his role as a union representative. He urges others looking for a path forward not to hesitate to seek help: “Pathlight is there to help people who want to do something with themselves, who are looking for a place to be.” 

 

When Central Floridians like Hollis find themselves in difficult situations, Pathlight HOME is there to help them start anew – without judgment, preconditions, or stigma. You can be part of the solution by making a financial gift, donating household goods, or volunteering. To learn more, send us a message or give us a call at 407-521-6335.