“Fathering is not something perfect men do, but something that perfects the man.” Dr. Frank Pittman’s words embrace the journey of John Hugo. A single parent to his son Randy, their path to a better life meant he had to step up to life’s challenges.

After his wife left him to care for their son Randy, who was eight years old at the time, the duo boarded a Greyhound bus bound for Florida. Small jobs provided some support, but they ended up out on the street, usually by the Magic City Casino, looking for food, money, and help to survive. One day, they hit the jackpot.

Driving by them on a regular basis was Camillus House Director of Operational Services Bob Lozada. Along with giving them sandwiches when he could, he gave them a winning number: The Homeless Hotline (877-994-HELP).

Father and son soon received Camillus House’s help with emergency housing, hot meals, and enrollment in supportive programs, including our Culinary Program in conjunction with Miami Dade College School of Hospitality.

Good fortune continued to shine as John and Randy, who is now 25 years old, recently moved into their own apartment in North Beach thanks to our Rehousing program. John loves the location and says, “Armed with my skills, and a resume that Camillus and Career Resources helped me create, I can walk to jobs at nearby restaurants. My son is very happy here.”

For every journey in their lives, John and Randy have made their way together, including travelling the long road out of homelessness. John reminds us to “Be patient. Do not give up. Just be patient.” His son agrees and proudly looks at his father. “My mom left me, but my dad never left my side.”

Happy Father’s Day to John and all dads on their day. Wishing you good health and happiness and the “patience” to know good things await on the road ahead.

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