I've been working with Sharon for over a week now, trying to find shelters, or solutions to getting her off the street. It is REMARKABLY difficult to accomplish. It can not be done quickly or easily. Within moments of meeting her I knew I had to help. I started paying for a hotel for her each night. She is a devout christian, doesn't drink/smoke/do drugs/ or engage in any unhealthy relationships other than she might be a bit addicted to going to church (I'm not kidding). She is remarkably unsuited to be on the streets, she's a bit fragile emotionally, seeing treatment for depression and counseling (which given her situation is totally understanble), but she's very, gentle and is going to get hurt or robbed or worse, soon if we can't get her a solution in place. The fact that nothing terrible has happened yet is just a matter of grace.
On Friday, we received word from a wonderful man who is called Navigator named Mike who works with the homeless in Public LIbrary downtown, that he had just heard of an opening at a boarding house. Which is like getting the golden ticket, there is like a 6 month -2 year wait for rooms/housing. Navigator Mike had told me, do not expect miracles, but he delivered one.
I've been in touch with the woman who runs the boarding house. If Sharon is accepted (we go today) she'll need to have $650 for first month rent and they will divide the deposit into 3 months payments. Which will leave her about 50.00 a month to live on the first three months but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. Houseing is first. Sharon had paid all her last paycheck in back bills (she's super serious about never oweing people money) and she was tithing her church and offerings, (which is another story). I've hired her a Payee service which will take her paychck and pay her bills and then she'll get an allowance so she won't make unhealthy (for her) choices with her money.) We spent yesterday going to all the places she'll need to jump through hoops for to be eligible for this program and I think we have a good chance of getting her approved. Soonest she can move in is in 1-2 days (which means 1-2 nights more of hotels which I'm fast running out of money to pay for) and I can't come up with 600.00 for deposits.
Given the stuff that happened in Charlottesville this weekend, and the direction the world is going I believe we sometimes have to make a difference, one person at a time. This is a really worthy cause and woman, and I hope you'll consider helping me, get her off the streets.
- Heather Feng
- Kelli Griggs
- Judi Adams
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