By Liam Martin

BROOKLINE (CBS) – Home sweet home is the new reality for 30 people in Brookline, thanks to the efforts of the Pine Street Inn.

It’s part of an effort to build permanent homes for people who had been homeless. And for the people moving in, having their own places is changing their lives.

“I don’t worry about going hungry, sleeping somewhere,” says Joe Joy, one of the new residents.

For Joe, his humble studio apartment means everything.

“I say a prayer in the morning and in the night. I’m like, my God, where would I be right now?” he says.

Joy is one of 30 formerly homeless people who will live on Beals Street in Brookline, a tree-lined residential area just a stone’s throw from JFK’s birthplace.

“It’s a huge, enormous victory and a miracle, and we’re very grateful to the town of Brookline,” says Lyndia Downie the head of the Pine Street Inn.

Joe Joy inside his Pine Street Inn apartment. (WBZ-TV)

Joe Joy inside his Pine Street Inn apartment. (WBZ-TV)

Friday was the official dedication, celebrating the renovation of two buildings by the Pine St. Inn and its partners. The Inn has developed 900 units of permanent housing like this in Greater Boston.

“Housing is the basis of everything.  Housing is where you get up in the morning, where you go to sleep at night, where your community is, where you eat,” says Downie.

As part of the project case managers will work with residents if they need services like health care or job training.

“It feels good to be able to just walk out and go about your business,” says new resident Joe Joy.

Congressman Joe Kennedy was the keynote speaker. He lives just around the corner from the new housing.

“The support that went into making this investment, the hard work that brought it to fruition I think, is a real testament to the power of upward mobility and the promise that housing provides,” says Kennedy.

And for people like Joy, Friday really was the first day of the rest of their lives.

“I try to do the best that I can. It’s a complete turnaround,” he says.

Thanks to projects like Beals Street, the Pine Street Inn now has more permanent housing units than shelter beds.

Of course the Inn couldn’t do it alone. Their partners include the town of Brookline, state agencies, banks and an army of volunteers.


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