CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Richard spent nearly ten years living on the streets of Charlotte, battling addictions to drugs and alcohol before coming to stay at Moore Place.

“I’ve been here now going on eight years. Clean and sober,” Richard says.

Moore Place gives chronically homeless people with mental or physical disabilities in Charlotte permanent support and housing.

Rebeca Melendez, Moore Place mental health clinician, says their housing first philosophy, gives people the chance to improve their lives.

“By having housing and having a place to stay, you can think about all the goals you have in life, like reconnecting with your family,” says Melendez.

Richard hadn’t seen his daughter, Bertha, or any of his family since 2006.

“I didn’t think I would ever see them anymore. That’s why I was about to give up,” says Richard.

But he didn't give up. “He said ‘Well I don’t leave my apartment. I just stay there with this COVID. I’ve been thinking a lot. I’ve been depressed and thats what made me think about my daughter. I want to find her,'” says Melendez.

Melendez searched for Bertha, finding a few possible matches online.

She called the numbers and sent text messages but got no replies, so she suggested sending a letter.

“And the first address that we tried, she just wrote back with that letter and sent the pictures,” says Melendez.

“I was happy as a camper to know that my children are still around. And I want them to know that I’m still around,” says Richard.

Bertha sent pictures from her childhood and of her husband and son.

“I didn’t know my daughter had gotten married,” says Richard.

Bertha also wrote Richard a letter. Richard is working on a reply with help from Melendez.

He wants to set up a meeting with his daughter once the COVID-19 lock down is lifted.

Until then he says, “Just to know that she wrote me made me more happy.”

You can find information about Moore Place here