Posted on April 13, 2017 by -

“I used to play for B.B. King!”

At one time, Eric Williams had gainful employment as a construction worker and enjoyed playing music on the side. His specialty was being booked for rented-out movies where he would use his music to change the entire tone of the film.

Then, he had to have open-heart surgery. The ensuing medical bills wiped him out financially, and soon he was overcome with depression. He found himself living on the streets for six years. As of July 3, he was housed through UNITY’s “Coordinated Entry System” with help from Case Manager Katey Lantto.

Eric first came to New Orleans two years ago because he was tired of the cold weather in his native New Jersey, and because he wanted to experience the music scene and the “spiritual grounding” of our vibrant city.

Unfortunately, the streets of New Orleans are very competitive in all things musical, so despite being immensely talented, Eric was still struggling. Eventually, he found his way to the Harry Tompson Center.

He often entertains guests and staff alike with his musical talents. “I like to get personal with my music… I want you to feel as though you’ve known me forever.”

Now that he has been housed, he is most grateful to have his own bed to sleep in. He works when he can, doing small jobs, and he still loves to spread his love of music to all those around him.

“I needed other people to believe in me so I could get back on my feet.”

Want to read more stories of courage from HTC guests? Click here to go to the archive.