“I was working. Then COVID.” This is the newest reason for becoming homeless in today’s world. It doesn’t take much these days to become unsheltered. Just live from paycheck to paycheck and lose your place of employment and you will see how easy it has become.
Recently, one of our guests would come in with a great attitude and willingness to work. Just wasn’t able to land a secure job when he was living outdoors. We learned this guest had been sleeping with permission on someone’s porch while he tried to land a job.
Each day, this guest would come in with a smile and his appearance not giving any hints that he was living houseless. We noticed that he was falling asleep at the dining table. That wasn’t what we had seen in the past. Usually, he would come in and have breakfast, get some lunch and head out.
Through a few conversations about Thanksgiving plans, it was apparent he was looking forward to seeing his son that was coming into town. You could see the concern of how that would be handled. A son coming to visit his unhoused father is not the typical scenario for the holidays. He continued to share that he had been working, but it was hard to be dependable for his employer when he was sleeping outside and depending on the bus for the long trip to where he found employment. He was now unemployed, anticipating the visit of his son trying to figure out how all this was going to unfold.
It was suggested that this guest check in with our on site case manager to see what could be done in his situation. Our program director and case manager found a COVID relief program that was designed for people that lost their employment and then became homeless. It was a perfect fit!
Now, this same guest is off the friend’s porch, living inside a hotel while he works nearby. He now can be the dependable employee he was before COVID. He is on his way to getting back on his feet and being self-sustaining.
Without community, there are no conversations. Without conversations, there can be no trust. We know that sometimes a little understanding can go a long way. At The Father’s Heart, we value people and appreciate their stories and situations.