Jackie and her two sons just graduated high school together. A single mom wanting all America had to offer her and her family after gaining citizenship, the three were without the education needed to get adequate work income to support their modest household. Mental health issues had bullied and ridiculed her sons in their early years while Jackie struggled to keep the family afloat. Coming to HopeLink for help, the three enrolled, studied and graduated from our on-site GED training and passed together, opening wide the doors to opportunity. Providing income supports, intensive case management, and job help provided by dedicated HopeLink community partners, all three are now employed, earning a combined household income that raises them off the rolls of poverty and into self-sufficiency with dignity and pride in being Americans.
They're just looking for a place to call home.
By foot, by city bus, walker or cane, they are the displaced and homeless families who thought the job would last and they’d have more time to figure out a better plan when it didn’t, and seniors who finally succumbed to their last unaffordable rent increase . Others, desperately escaping the hands of an abuser, a world of chaos, a street that’s no longer welcoming or a foreboding forecast of inclement weather. All are seeking a place to call home, a bridge to some place better, or at the very least, a link to hope for respite.
A voice mailbox full each morning with pleas from those we’ve never met before but will today, is our wake up call to changing the normal for the daily dozens who want a new start in life. Unsuitable for overflowing mass shelters, they seek beds for their children, food, a toothbrush and some caring direction.
A roof does wonders for someone’s dignity. It creates a safe place for problem solving, reflection and hard work toward solutions toward next steps out of crisis and into self-sufficiency once again.
Shelter for the weary, supportive housing for families needing a fresh start, and temporary emergency homes for those having fallen on hard times, yet eager, able and willing to get back on their feet again.
HopeLink is their first step and their last stop for hope.
HopeLink is where ‘a place to call home’ begins.
Eight years living in a two-door, six-window home on wheels ended today for an undiagnosed mentally ill man tossed around the social services system since 2009.
He came to HopeLink seeking food and a place to live, a routine he practiced in every available government agency for much too long. After meeting last week, my training told me something wasn’t quite right, not just with the game of social service ping-pong but with his inability to advocate for himself. Pleading the case to a diagnostically savvy friend, we concluded he’s one of the many who has fallen through the cracks. Game planning his psychiatric visit, we could only hope he’d give it a go one last time.
I just received the email. An apartment was found for him, he’s finally on meds and I’m back to work this morning filling in gaps for his deposit assistance, food, utilities and employment to help start this longtime homeless fellow in a new life, out of his car, on medicine, and in what will be his new normal: stable and self-sufficient.
HopeLink helps change the normal for thousands like Jeff each year and we are able to only because of concerned community partners and the generosities of those who share our vision of hope for the Jeffs of this community.
Almost 80 years old, he figured he was unemployable.
Smart as a whip and still very able-bodied, he refused to lose hope that there was someone who could see in him what I have seen all along. We worked on his resume and references and against all hope, spent six months looking for some kind of supplemental income to the meager monthly social security check which left him with a pauper’s allowance for food and next to nothing for Christmas. He got the call the first of December and started full time on the 18th. Nearly a month into the new job he can walk to each day, Steve’s countenance is that of a changed man. His Christmas miracle arrived just in time for him to share his hope and generosity with countless others at the senior community where he lives. Senior citizens need to feel needed, want to feel wanted and hope to be helpful. His normal has been changed thanks to one very smart employer who saw age and experience make good business sense.
When you give to HopeLink, you help people like Steve rediscover a life of self-sufficiency. Even at 80!