For six years, Terry lived hidden amid the Deep Ellum neighborhood revival. He made a small room off a garbage bay his home, undetected by the building’s residents. By day he slept, and at night he worked as a street magician.


Terry never planned to be homeless. In high school, he was a skateboarder with a good crew of friends. Terry graduated high school and worked for over a decade at r the railroad where his dad worked. Later in life, he graduated from Tyler Junior College.


Terry began using marijuana in high school, and over the years, he descended into the vicious cycle of drug use to rehab and back again. His addiction ultimately caused him to lose everything.


“I ended up using a lot of different drugs but still worked and lived a normal life,” Terry said. “Before you realize it, you’re an addict. I kept telling myself I was OK, but when I tried crack, that was it.”


After his first stint in rehab, Terry moved to Dallas. He met a girl, got into jewelry making, and soon sold his art to well-known musicians. “I was on fire with life,” said Terry. But his relationship ended, and he spiraled into depression. Terry's mom was very ill, so he returned home to care for her, and what was to be a short stay turned into six years.


“I wasn’t in a good place mentally. I loved my mother but didn’t love myself much,” he stated. “I turned back to drugs to cope.”


He returned to Dallas and rented a room from a friend. Terry started using crack again, was kicked out of the house, and started his journey into homelessness. He tried staying at local shelters, but Terry says, "I’m a night owl. I do my best work at night when the money is throwing. The shelters want you to be in at six p.m., then out at six a.m. That didn’t work.”


One day, Terry noticed a swirl of activity at 1610 Malcolm X Boulevard and smelled barbecue. It was the groundbreaking for the CitySquare Opportunity Center. He wandered over to see if he could show anyone a few of his card tricks.


“I met Larry James. He invited me to eat, watched my card tricks, and told me I was talented,” said Terry. “Larry told me he would help me get housing. And he did.” 


Today Terry is housed through our Destination Home program. He received medical and dental services, including replacing teeth lost due to his drug use. 


“When I moved into my place, I said I’m not going to do any more drugs that take over my soul,” stated Terry. “My head is clear, and I’m grateful. I was convinced I would die on the streets, alone, but now I’m excited about the future. Got to make this time count!”


Terry named three important people in his life. Not surprisingly, one of those three is his friend Larry James.

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