For the 13th year in a row, McHale's Irish Pub and our founder, Tricia Kuhlkin, are joining forces to raise much-needed funds for our programs. The Pilgrims' Inn Irish Open has become a favorite with local golfers, and for good....
At face value, the cause of homelessness for most of our clients seems pretty clear – they don’t make enough money to pay their rent and utilities. Many of them have no jobs, or if they do it is a part-time and/or minimum wage job. So what they need to do to stabilize is get [...]
Mother’s Day is just around the corner. If your mom is like most, out of all the beautiful cards you’ve ever gotten her the one she cherishes most is scribbled in childish crayon with a smudge in the corner, and she’s saved it since you were 5. Of all the nice gifts you’ve given her, [...]
I am an avid reader, and recently finished the wildly popular ”Hunger Games” series, by Suzanne Collins. I’m a little surprised that these books are listed as “young adult”. At the age of 53, I personally found them to be intriguing. I read the series straight through in about a week’s time, and I am enthusiastically looking forward to [...]
Shelly is the proud mom of two teen-age boys - both of whom are the epitamy of the phrase "nice young men". although she had a full-time job, it was at low pay and her hours were periodically cut when business was down. Unfortunately, one of Shelley's problems was she had a bit of "champaign taste on a beer budget", meaning she did not know how to budget well and often chose housing, clothing, etc. that was simply out of her financial reach. She came to us finally when she had completely run out of options and did not know how to get things turned around.
Shelley and her sons first stayed in our Dorothy Bing Inn Emergency Shelter, but we quickly were able to re-house them into their own apartment using funds from our Rapid Re-Housing Program (please note - this program is temporarily out of funds at this time, due to the end of the grant cycle that funded it. We are hoping for additional funds in the near future to re-open the program).
This is not an uncommon situation for many of the women who come to us for help. Even when they find employment in this difficult job market, many of our clients are only eligible for very low-paying, unskilled jobs. Often the only positions available are either part-time or vulnerable to frequent lay-offs or reduced hours. And gaining the credentials needed to successfully pursue better wages is rarely something that can happen in a few short weeks. Studying for a GED or a course of training for specific job skills or licenses can take months or even years. Successfully treating health problems, mental health problems, drug abuse problems, etc. that interfere with employability can be a long and difficult process. Saving up necessities to keep a job - reliable transportation being a "biggie" - can take excruciatingly long.
Happily, in Shelley's case, we were able to use Federal grant dollars to subsidize her rent and utilities for a year while our case manager worked with Shelley to help her realize the importance of living within a reasonable budget (and how to do that). She also helped her develop a game plan for finding more reliable income. Shelley and her boys are now living independently once again and she has a whole set of new skills and tools to help her maintain their finances. The boys are doing great, especially now that they are stabilized in the same school and have been able to settle in with new friends, activities, and studies.
Just a few months ago, “Beth” was horrified to find herself sleeping under a sliding board in Cherry Park with her precious daughter, “Sunny”. While she was relieved to be accepted into our Dorothy Bing Inn emergency homeless shelter, she was also overwhelmed at the thought of how she was going to find solutions to her problems and make a stable home for herself and her daughter. Added to that were her worries about Sunny, who had begun struggling more and more in school due to the families’ circumstances, and had been held back a grade as a result.
While staying with us, Beth worked hard on issues of intense anger and depression, as well as avidly searching for employment. She pitched in at every opportunity here at the Inn, frequently offering to help clean and to volunteer n our pantry. One of our partnering agencies, the Children’s Attention Home Charter School, accepted Sunny as a student and she has thrived in their unique, supportive environment.
Last week, Beth bounded into our office to happily announce that not only had she just been offered a job, but a volunteer at the Inn who had gotten to know her had arranged to collect all of the furniture and household items she would need when she was ready to move out. We were able to add to the happy day by sharing with her that we had just decided to offer her a tenancy in one of our subsidized rent apartments in Tricia’s Court, on our property. She once again reports feeling overwhelmed, but this time rather than being flummoxed by a long list of dire problems, she is happily overwhelmed with the bounty of good news, as well as the affection, and support of so many people.
“Caroline” spent 6 months in our shelter, an unusually long time. After being unemployed for an extended period and running out of benefits, Caroline first came to our shelter when she had run out of both money and options. Working to both earn her GED as well as finding employment, she initially found one job but was unfortunately fired when she was unable to keep up with the fast pace it required. The setback was devastating, but with support from our staff she kept trying. She has now been hired for another job, this one not only a job she can handle quite well, but one she thoroughly enjoys. Through our HPRP program, we were able to use grant monies to over the deposits and first month’s rent necessary for her to move out, and she is now enjoying her own independent housing. She continues to work with the math tutor we had arranged for her, and reports that she is determined to soon be ready to complete her GED requirements.
Two of our families are moving out of the shelter this week into their own private housing.
Both are single moms, and coincidentally both just had babies while staying with us.
They have each worked hard to figure out how to get back on their feet, increase their income, keep their living expenses “doable”, and stabilize their families.
That’s two moms and 5 kids that have stepped into a more hopeful future. We wish them well.