Brenda: Catholic Charities Emergency Assistance Services

Brenda began dropping by the Catholic Charities Emergency Assistance Services office several years ago.  She never shared much information about herself, but it was generally known that she was living on the streets or in other places not meant for habitation.  She had learned to do without the normal comforts of a home and people who cared about her, and she seemed suspicious of anyone who attempted to engage her.  While never accepting assistance, she continued to come to the office a few times a week.

Brenda finally began to share more of her struggles with us, and slowly but surely, walls began to come down and trust began to build. She was encouraged to utilize the free health clinic located in our building and was open to offers of food and clothing.  Eventually, we were able to assist her with obtaining a birth certificate and identification.  This enabled her to apply for public assistance and other services.  With gentle urging and guidance, her self- confidence and trust was built enough that she became comfortable working with a housing placement worker, and she moved into a Supportive Housing Program apartment.  Brenda’s quality of life continues to improve, and she volunteers everyday helping people who struggle with the very same issues she has overcome.