|Dana Guthrie (left) and David Marmoll are staying at the Bailey's Crossroads Community Shelter.|
|The Bailey's shelter on Moncure Avenue is set to be displaced by an apartment building.|
A couple of guys throwing a football on the shelter’s front lawn and a middle-aged woman studying the Bible weren’t interested in talking about their path to homelessness. Several men zoned out in front of the 7-Eleven across the street didn’t seem up for a chat. But two residents sitting on a picnic bench in the side yard agreed to share their stories.
Dana Guthrie, 62, had spent the afternoon looking for work and was happy to have found a construction job from Ace Temporaries in Arlington, but needs to get some work boots before he can start.
A recovering alcoholic and heroin addict, Guthrie says he kicked the habit during a stint in the Fairfax County jail in 2013.
This is the first time Guthrie had been homeless, he says. His wife died in 2000, and he’d been living in an apartment on Carlin Springs Road with his son and daughter-in-law when the three of them were evicted. He has three daughters in other parts of the country, but Guthrie, a Northern Virginia native, says he wants to stay in this area.
Guthrie described the shelter routine: Residents are woken up at 6 a.m. They do chores, like wiping windows or sweeping the floors. Then they have breakfast, which usually consists of coffee and cereal..
They can come back in for lunch at 12:30, but then have to be out of the building until the dorms open at 4:30 p.m. In the evening, residents can attend an AA meeting, Bible group, or watch TV in the lounge.
David Marmoll, 30, grew up in Prince William County. He’s been making an effort stay off drugs after years of being a heroin and opioid addict, a habit he started in high school.
He blames his addiction for everything that went wrong with his life. He dropped out of the University of Mary Washington, “lost plenty of jobs,” and served time in the Prince William County jail in 2009 for possession of heroin and other drugs. “I went a little crazy and spent all my money on my habit,” he says.
After being evicted from his parents’ home, he crashed with friends, slept in his truck, and stayed at other shelters. “My parents are pretty much fed up,” he says. He can’t stay with them anymore and would “feel pathetic being 30 and staying with my mom.”
Marmoll recently got a full-time job at the Home Depot on Little River Turnpike and Braddock Road after filling out an application and passing a drug test at the Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center on Little River Turnpike.
Marmoll vows to stay clean and goes to the Fairfax Methadone Treatment Center in Annandale “I am not going to do anything to lose that job,” he says.
He’s been at the Bailey’s shelter for four weeks and hopes to stay a big longer so he can save enough money to rent a place to live. “If I can get a few more paychecks, I’ll be able to get a room,” he says.
He knows he should go back to college and get a degree, but “for now, just making an honest dollar and working on recovery is enough,” Marmoll says. “This is just a stepping stone for me.”
When he considers the other clients at the Bailey’s shelter, Marmoll says: ”We’re a little bit down on our luck. We made a few bad choices. We don’t mean to have a sense of entitlement. Some of us are trying to get back on our own feet.”