Just as we welcomed our guests, rain greeted us again yesterday. Our 207 guests (including 22 new ones) were relieved to be able to spend the wet, brisk afternoon indoors. Our staff and about 40 volunteers made and served hearty chili, rice, a variety of side dishes and sweets. Our amazing team of regular volunteers were assisted by several new volunteers, including a group of 8th-graders from St. Barnabus School.
Because of the weather, more clients requested bus passes to help them get to and from their appointments this week. Assistance with small expenses such as laundry and phone bills were also given to some of our newly housed clients. Staff and I will follow-up with those who asked for help resolving/disputing outstanding bills, as well as those who are in various stages of acquiring services and housing.
Last week, we helped two clients settle into their new apartments. Both were single men – one had lived in his old sedan for several years and the other had been homeless for a while and recently completed an in-house substance recovery program. The latter’s apartment is a small, unfurnished studio without a refrigerator. This person didn’t mind sleeping on the wood floor on top of his bedding or having no furniture; however, having no refrigerator really limited his food options. We purchased an under the counter refrigerator to give him more flexibility in what he could purchase at the grocery store. He was so grateful to have the refrigerator, which now sits where he had set up his painting supplies. He has moved his painting area to the opposite corner of his kitchen area and begun painting again.
Thank you to Betsy Yeh of The Estate Sisters for again allowing us to pick up gently used furniture and housewares. Our other recently moved-in gentleman was grateful to receive a dining set, two end tables, towels, and housewares. We look forward to picking up beds this week from another estate sale that we will deliver to these two clients.
Thank you for your support which has allowed us to help stabilize the lives of those who are experiencing homelessness.