Remember Joe & Bronson? A year ago in January, I ran to the CVS on Willard Road in Norwalk, CT an hour before a big snow storm was getting ready to hit...I had my 4 year old son with me and I stopped because although I had shopped the day prior in anticipation of the big storm, I forgot brown sugar and wanted to bake cookies with the boys while we were snowed in. As we quickly got back in the car, the first snow flakes began to fall...my son inquired about Joe & his dog? Completely out of no where. He asked why they lived at cvs in a van and noted that every time we went to our neighborhood cvs they were always there. I felt bad because I knew we would be getting a fairly significant storm and I hoped they would have someplace to go. I pulled away and told my son, that Joe & Bronson would go inside today because of the snow storm but in my heart, I feared that was not the case.
Fast forward and an amazing community came together #NorwalkCares. Money was raised for Joe and Bronson. Joe was able to get a room at the econo lodge in the coldest of winter and the hottest of summer days. The outpouring of support for this extremely humble and kind man was overwhelming. So many additionally donated to Bronson as well. Broad River Animal Hospital collected food, blankets and treats for several months that followed. With the funds raised, Joe was able to fix up his van, put much needed new tires, have warm meals and a small sense of security with money for gas and other daily essentials. Shortly after, I began working with Adam Bovlisky of the Human Relations Department in our city. He was quick to act on Joe & Bronson's behalf-soon a team made up of myself, social workers and housing assistants was developed. It was a long process but everyone involved was sympathetic to this amazing and genuine soul & his adorable dog. Joe initiated some push back and did not want to accept help but we never gave up and believed that we could give him hope for a second chance. I so wanted to show him that good things do happen and things can get better. A roof over his head was the ultimate goal. Eventually Joe was on board and began to trust those involved and worked with everyone to get housing and to the point that we have reached now. It was a long and daunting process. But no one gave up! Sadly, Bronson became ill and did not make it. Joe's beloved four legged passed away almost two months ago. It was a devastating blow for Joe. Bronson was his best friend and his entire world!
Today, Joe has an apartment! With the permission of his amazing social worker, I was given permission to start raising funds for a few new items needed for his apartment in Norwalk! He is not moved in yet and I'm awaiting an actual move in date for him but it will be VERY soon. So, with this said...the housing authority does not want any used/donated mattresses or couches to go into the property. Very understandable with the problem of bed bugs on the rise. With this said, I am starting a go fund me for Joe's move! He is in need of a mattress, a couch and a few simple housing items. At this time, I am not able to take anything donated. There is a chance that in the future he may need a few donated tables and chairs etc. perhaps a dresser and small night table but for now, the focus is this effort. For now, the focus will be on a new mattress, box spring and frame! As well as a couch. We want his apartment to be a home for him. Someplace comfortable and warm! I spoke with the gentleman at discount furniture and bedding on New Canaan Ave, he has an entire bed set for $299 plus $60 for the metal frame and only $25.00 for delivery! Additionally, he can get an inexpensive but nice new sofa for well under $500! With the funds raised for him, I will purchase affordable but good quality furniture he needs and any funds remaining will be his to get him set up in his new place!
I know the holidays are a difficult time financially for many but if you can give any amount at all, it would be so appreciated! I wish that I could just do this for him myself and not have to reach out, but with two small toddlers, financially I have to think of my family first! Hoping with the assistance of the Norwalk community we can all pull together and make a difference! Once joe is settled, this unit does allow for a dog. For therapy purposes it's likely he will in fact be encouraged to adopt!
Please share this & help spread the word #NorwalkCares
In Loving Memory of Bronson~