S.O. Close to Homeless: Part Seventeen

Medford, Ore. — NBC5 News is partnering with Access to start a community discussion, and bring you an in-depth look into the lives of people who are homeless, have been homeless, or who are very close to it. In week 17, we’re meeting Trinidad Flores.

Flores loves to give back to the community, looming hats for those in need.

“I like to say ripples of compassion turns into waves of compassion,” Flores said.

His hobby of looming sparked Compassion Hats three years ago.

“We’re working now on going non-profit,” Flores said.

Right now, it’s a three person operation: Flores, his mother and his son. But you wouldn’t guess that by their product turnout.

“Just me alone, about 1,700,” Flores said.

Most of his Compassion Hats are made for babies, especially those born prematurely. Right now, the group is working on a batch goal of 130 for local hospitals.

“A family that we knew down the street… they have one of the hats I made,” Flores said.

He also makes child and adult-sized hats.

“Usually they go out to the homeless,” Flores said.

It’s a struggle Flores understands all too well. He’s lived on the street for years, and often sleeps there as well.

Flores lives with PTSD and depression, a product of time spent in prison years ago. He said looming, and Compassion Hats has been the best therapy he’s tried.

“When I had my major mental health breakdown last year, I had really picked up on it,” Flores said. “It helps, helps you forget everything that’s going on in your mind, because you’re focusing on what you’re doing.”

Flores said living on the street has been challenging, but more than anything, eye-opening.

“There’s some that, that’s all they think about is themselves, then there’s others that are out on the street, but yet, conduct their lives like they’re living in a house or whatever,” Flores said.

Very soon, Flores will have his own tiny house. He’s moving into Hope Village, a community for people trying to get off the street.

“It’s a step to getting my life back in order,” Flores said. “And getting back into a routine.”

While Flores is still waiting for the official move in date, he has compassion hats to keep him going.

“The coolest thing is the finished product.. you’re giving back to one person at a time,” Flores said. “That’s what this society should be doing, is helping others.”

To learn more about local resources for veterans or anyone struggling with homelessness, click here.

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