South African struggling with homelessness in Lubbock

South African struggling with homelessness in Lubbock

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

Homelessness can be indiscriminate, affecting people who never thought they would live on the streets.

For Isak Engelbrecht it is something he never would have imagined happening to him. 

He sailed from South Africa, island hoping in the Caribbean. 

"I helped my friends build a boat and we were going to go to the Caribbean and charter it," Engelbrecht said. "So I helped them finish the boat and sailed from Durban to Cape Town and then from Cape Town all the way to Brazil, from Brazil to the Caribbean and I lived in St. Martin for seven years."

He moved up to New Jersey, got married, ran a successful company and then everything started to fall apart. 

After more than 20 years of marriage he got divorced and his company shut down during the Great Recession.

"I lost my house, I lost my boat, I lost everything."

He found himself in Lubbock, after following a new girl friend. After that relationship ended he became homeless.

"I never thought it would be me," he said. "Never, but everybody can fall into this you know. Everyone's just a paycheck away from being homeless. You never know."

Despite all that has happened to him, Engelbrecht keeps his head up and knows that if he keeps working he will get back to where he was before.

"You have to look on the positive side you know? There's always, you can always get everything back especially if you have your health. You can always start over."

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