Imagine Not Having a Place to Lay Your Head at Night
We can tell you so many different, sad stories of people, just like you, where in one tragic circumstance or another, they suddenly found themselves desperate, without a lifeline, ending up on the streets with no hope in sight. The physical dangers of homelessness only compound feelings of anxiety, inadequacy, depression, hunger, anger, suicide and more.
Keith hurt his back at work. After an experimental surgery left him with chronic pain, he got hooked on prescription opioids. “For some reason, I took an extra one once. That’s how it started. Your whole world is nothing about (but) getting that next pill.” So began the downward spiral of addiction, spending all his money and paying the ultimate cost…his wife and kids left him, lost his house, career and savings, ending up on the street. Fortunately, Keith was found by Joel Miller of the HOPE Team who got him into a doctor and connected him to Ebony Tanner, our Permanent Supportive and RRH Case Manager who got him into an apartment in Kissimmee. Since then, Keith has been able to restore the relationship with his daughter.
In Sharon’s case, life dealt her some harsh blows. After her husband passed, she had no one to care for her and she ended up homeless, traveling to Orlando to escape dangers on the streets in West Florida. Sleeping outside at the age of 74, vulnerable, with mosquitos swarming her at night, ant bites, and the very real threat of rape and worse, she was at her wits end when she came to our campus. It took a couple months to find a suitable apartment with a landlord willing to work with us, but she is grateful for Haggeo’s help getting her a place of her own.
Our clients’ stories are unbearable and often difficult for them to talk about and relive the trauma. We appreciate Keith and Sharon candidly sharing their story in our new video. Watch and share the video on our homepage and YouTube channel (link at top of our website).
STRUGGLES DON'T END AFTER WE GET SOMEONE HOUSED
Just because we help get a client into an apartment of their own, or reunify them with family in a stable, housed situation doesn't mean that the rest of their lives are problem-free.
Sharon’s apartment flooded during Hurricane Ian, and she had to evacuate. The following week, she showed up at our office saying she was back on the street. While the water receded, the apartment was ruined with no timeline on when it might get fixed. It took over a week, but Case Manager Haggeo Gautier found another apartment and got Sharon in until a more permanent arrangement is possible.
Keith recently underwent major cancer surgery and had a lung removed. Please keep Keith in your prayers for healing and comfort while he recovers.
In social services, things never work out exactly the way we plan. That’s why strong relationships with all types of people in our community are vital, so the Christian Service Center can be there when someone falls again, and for those with nowhere else to turn.