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'They're not throw away people': East County center expands services to get people on their feet

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Posted at 12:21 PM, Oct 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-14 15:24:11-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — The East County Transitional Living Center opened its brand-new dorms on Thursday.

The buildings were paid for through donations and were built by volunteers who donated their time.

The additional facilities will allow the organization to free up space at their transitional living center, which was converted from a motel to help about 150 families with children.

The Founder of the East County Transitional Living Center, Harold Brown, said the help doesn't stop there. While enrolled in the program, each individual will have access to a number of health services and programs all aimed to help them get back on their feet.

"They lost their community, they lost their family and their hope," Brown said. "They wind up addicted and afflicted and on the streets, but they're not throw away people. We need to help them get back to their life."

Daniel Guzman is one of those individuals who said he never thought he'd end up on the streets with his daughter. Guzman said he had his own painting company, but things happened and he started making wrong decisions.

"It was a very dark place," he said. "We got into substance abuse, all those things when you're trying to numb yourself, when you're trying to hide from that pain or not think about things, that led us deeper and deeper."

Almost a year into the program, Guzman said he finally feels like he's getting his life back. And he's hopeful he can share his experience with others who may need that extra help.

"The love that was poured onto us, we get to love someone else," he said. "You see from the beginning, the progress and how they're being restored, it's just beautiful."