If you’ve visited Christ House in the past decade, it’s nearly impossible to spot David without his friend Reggie nearby. Since they both arrived at Christ House in 2014, they have been a constant presence and vital source of support in each other’s lives. When describing their friendship, David mentioned, “We’re tight. We try to do everything we can together. This here is my best friend in the world.”
David and Reggie’s friendship started long before their arrival at Christ House. The two first met over twenty years ago on Martin Luther King Avenue in Southeast DC. Their friendship, which initially started over shared substance use, was sporadic over the next few years. Reggie cycled in and out of prison due to non-violent offenses. Both men continued to struggle with their sobriety, falling back into the familiarity of substance use while also dealing with chronic homelessness.
The pair reconnected in 2008. After staying at a nearby residential treatment program, Reggie began visiting David regularly on the street to convince him to also try the program. “I told him how good I was doing in the program and how good the program was… I planted the seed with Dave and he kept going to meetings with me,” Reggie explained. While they were in the treatment program, it became clear that the two men needed additional medical treatment.
The pair came to Christ House in 2014, with David experiencing chronic kidney disease and back pain and Reggie exhibiting severe symptoms of emphysema, frequent seizures, and diabetes. A few months later, the two men were asked to join Christ House’s Kairos Program. The program provides permanent supportive housing, medical support for former patients with chronic health conditions, and a community where recovery can take place. Since joining the program, the two regularly volunteer with Christ House—David serves food in the kitchen and Reggie does light cleaning around Kairos House. Looking back, both agree that joining the Christ House community was the best decision they have ever made.
“I go to every meeting. I love it here at Christ House, it saved my life.” -David
“That’s what we do in here, we talk. We tell on our disease, we dispose it, we let somebody else know what is happening in our head. They help us get through it.” – Reggie
David and Reggie’s close friendship provides them each with an indispensable support system. Kairos Program Director Kelley Reed shares that, “It is remarkable to consider how much they have overcome and experienced as friends. They’ve been in shelters together, at Christ House together, and moved into their own Kairos Program apartments on the same day! I believe recovery has only strengthened their bond. The Christ House philosophy we recite says in part: ‘We support each other. We are responsible for our actions and our brothers.’ Reggie and Dave exemplify this; you can tell they really look out for one another.”
“He’s my crutch. That’s why I’m really still here, because of my buddy.” -David