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Andre Colter

André is a native Washingtonian who has struggled with addiction for more than half his life. His struggle began in his preteens with cigarettes and alcohol, but in his older school years he moved to harder substances.  He became a U.S. Marine and also a young father, but he still struggled with drugs, which he discovered came at a price. Throughout his journey he has lost homes, jobs, a marriage, and become a distant stranger to his children, family, and friends.

He reached his “rock bottom” one winter’s night when he found himself wandering the streets of D.C. hungry, cold, exhausted and broken. “Late that night I finally sat down in a little park on 13th & N.Y. Ave NW and curled up on the bench and slept. I didn’t notice any around, because I was dog tired. When I awoke the next morning, I was covered in blankets, and there were people all around. I had stumbled upon a community of homeless people, and what struck me was that I was welcomed.”   

At present, André has found himself back on the streets of DC after seven years of having a residence.  André is a guide for NCH’s Homeless Challenge and a member of the Speaker’s Bureau. His priorities have changed somewhat due to his experiences of homelessness and addiction.  He currently strives to spend his days being the best example for his grandkids, making himself available to educate and advocate about homelessness issues, searching daily for a job. He is also weighing the decision to pursue a Masters in Business Administration.

National Coalition for the Homeless
2201 P Street NW
Washington, DC 20037-1033

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Page last modified: Oct. 11, 2011

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