Cristian’s “My Beginning” Success Story

“I, Cristian Pina, was brought to Chicago USA by my parents in the year 1985. I was 7 years old. We came to the Logan Square area. Shortly after that my mother and father split up. I lived with my mother, sisters, and my two brothers. A year after we came from Peru, my two older brothers began to ganging. My sister moved out with her boyfriend. My mother worked 14 hours a day job at a restaurant. I was always be myself. A little after that, I began to hang out with the shorty’s (the little brothers of the gangbangers). At the age of 15, I was given a white powdery substance which I snorted, I found out it was heroin. That was the beginning of a horrible 18 years of dope sickness and in and out of jail. I did a total of 8 years of my life in prison. 

Being in the streets of Chicago in the 90’s, I seen friends of mine shot in the head while we were driving. As we were driving down the street on a Friday night, a car came up to us and 6 shots were fired. My friend was hit in the head. Coming out of prison in the year 2005, I met a female on a chat line called “Live Links.” We hit it off really good, so good that I ended up moving to Green Bay which was where she was from. We had 3 beautiful kids. Everything was going good until I began getting high again and she started using heroin with me. We got so bad that we got CPS (Child Protective Services) involved with our kids to a point that our children were taken from us. I ended up in St. John’s Shelter. She moved to Boston because the drugs were cheaper. I wanted to stay in Green Bay because I knew my kids were here. 

I began to work on things in my life little by little. I began to look for help with my addiction. Once Newcap housed me, I got clean and got away from everyone because everyone I knew either got high or sold the drugs. So, I started working with my case manager from St. John’s and from Newcap, I got on public assistance, and got on methadone. I’ve been clean from heroin for 30 months. Now, I’m working on going back to school. I have a job, an apartment, and insurance. The most exciting thing is that my kids from Chicago, ages, 18, 17, and 16 are communicating with me. The process of change is not a race but a marathon. Everything is little by little. Now I’m working on moving to be self-sufficient. 

I thank God first of all. I thank St. John’s, which I love so much. And I thank Newcap.” 

  • Cristian Pina. 

About the Permanent Supportive Housing Program

Program Description

The Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) Program provides long-term housing with supportive services for homeless persons with disabilities by reintegrating chronically homeless and other highly vulnerable homeless families and individuals into the community by addressing their basic needs for housing and providing ongoing support. Newcap holds the lease on the unit and sublets the unit to the program participant. The program participant pays 30% of their monthly adjusted income back to Newcap as occupancy fees. 

Eligibility Guidelines

Family must meet HUD’s definition of homeless and income must be at or below 30% of the County Median Income. Clients must have a disability. 

Application Process

Applicants should contact Newcap’s Oconto office for an assessment to determine preliminary eligibility. Once initial eligibility is determined, the applicant is placed on the Prioritization List and offered assistance when a housing program becomes available. Applicants are placed on the Prioritization List by the length of time homeless and the severity of their need. 

Learn more about the Permanent Supportive Housing Program here: