Most Americans can't imagine being homeless for 45 hours, let alone 45 years. Steve Sacre, however, a Vietnam veteran and former drug addict, was just that. Last week, Sacre finally was able to rent an apartment of his own.
As the Democrat Herald reports, Sacre left home at age 17, and spent the majority of his time, when not in a prison cell, sleeping on couches, hiding out in bushes, and scraping for drugs. He spoke Wednesday in Albany at a Community Summit on Homelessness, and discussed his life on the streets and how he was finally able to find a place to call home.
He used to rob drug stores and was involved in a shootout with police in the 1970s that sent him to prison for 10 years. He credits members of the InReach Clinic and Senior Disabilities Services with helping him get on his feet.
"I don't know why they decided to help me," Sacre said, while sitting on a camp stool in his sparsely furnished apartment on Salem Avenue. The only other furnishings in the living room are a webbed lawn chair and an old analog television set...Sacre is so excited about his new home that "I do not want to blow my opportunity to continue to live here. This is my first real home.". He will cover his $142-a-month rent with his Social Security Insurance checks. Sacre receives no financial help from family members.
Sacre has been diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver, and doctors aren't sure how much time he has left. Because of the help of others, though, Sacre now has a home, doesn't drink or do drugs, and can enjoy his remaining time surrounded by four walls and the comfort of friends.