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Inaugural Homeless Resource Day Offers Food, Healthcare | News

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Inaugural Homeless Resource Day Offers Food, Healthcare
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GAITHERSBURG, Md. (WUSA) -- A stormy day in the Metropolitan area is not enough to spoil Andre Johnson's day.

Johnson is one of about 300 people attending the first annual Montgomery County Homeless Resource Day

"Life is easier because I love who I am today, I'm back in the real world and I love getting out of bed in the morning now that I'm back on track," says Johnson inside the activity center at Bohrer Park.

Two years ago, Johnson struggled with a crippling addiction that forced him to make a decision to start over.  A nurse at Shady Grove Hospital encouraged Johnson to pick himself up.

"I was homeless and drinking with nothing to live for and nothing to look forward to until I had a desire for a new way of life." 

Today, Johnson lives at the Wells/Robertson House, a transitional home for the homeless who have completed drug or alcohol treatments. 

Johnson works as a sales associate at Home Depot, pays rent for his housing and studies at Montgomery College.    

"I'm a recovering alcoholic, and life with an alcohol addiction is much more manageable and better now through the different services that Montgomery County and the City of Gaithersburg's have provided me."

Visitors to the Montgomery County Homeless Resource Day get transportation from Metro, free healthcare services, pedicures, credit counseling and food. Gaithersburg Mayor Sidney Katz made an appearance.

In addition, County  Executive Isiah Leggett visited  the table of Nourish Now, a non-profit that prepared 750 bag lunches.   

The freshman company delivers food from local restaurants and businesses to 300 people in apartment complexes, shelters and group homes within the Gaithersburg area. 

Brett Meyers, Nourish Now's director, hopes the event "helps people who are homeless know that people in the community want to help and want to provide assistance." 

Johnson says he enters Homeless Resource Day with an open mind and hopes to leave with more information and a new look.

"I'm going to start off with a flu shot, some healthcare and hopefully a new hair cut." 

Written by: Ashley Morse
9NEWS NOW & WUSA9.com

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