Many of you have graciously taken the time to read our posts about the unsheltered homeless men and women in the City of Lowell.
We met some very special people as we started this journey and wanted to update you as to progress. YES, there is progress…
The young man, Sam, identified in the initial article who required funds for an ID so he could go to work…well, it turns out, it wasn’t just $25. But that’s OK. We were able to access unrestricted funds raised through the Festival of Wreaths.
$305 later, his license was reinstated (we have photos of this proud moment) and less than 24 hours later, he was employed. YES, employed! Without valid identification, one cannot obtain employment. One month later he remains employed, takes on side jobs, obtaining his GED through the Unitet Teen Equality Center and will eventually transition into their workforce development program. This young man is 18 years old with his entire life ahead of him.
Our young lady, Kim, with cancer was connected with healthcare and is currently in the process of undergoing testing to determine her course of treatment. This young lady is in her mid thirties and has 5 children. She left her spouse 3 years back due to domestic violence. She had many years of stable full time employment prior to becoming homeless. With the proper care she is receiving the care she so needed.
About two weeks back, Sam & Kim moved into an affordable market rate, two bedroom apartment (their front door does not look like this). Start up costs were generated through funds raised with the Festival of Wreaths and this fundraising effort. In additon they will have ongoing case management provided through a regional human service agency.
With a small amount of funds, apartment search assistance, housing education, financial literacy, connection to medical and behavioral health care, they are clearly on the road to success.
Another woman whom we had met on this visit is a middle-aged woman with limited English speaking skills. One key piece of information I was able to obtain from her is that she has been homeless for TEN years. She had also fled a Domestic Violence situation. Over the past several weeks, we have developed a repoire. See, her path to re-housing is due to her needing a Representaive Payee. Here at Community Teamwork, we offer that service. We found out today that we were approved to be her Representative Payee. As such we set her up with a local realty company to view a couple of market rate affordable housing options. We are thrilled and only motivates us to continue
Last week, the City of Lowell conducted its annual Point in Time (PIT) count. This is a process that is done annually on the same day, nationwide, to count homeless men, women and children in our communities. Word from our outreach personnel in the city outs our unsheltered (street homeless) count in excess of 50 and there as many as 17 homeless camps throughout the City of Lowell.
At the end of the day, like life – some solutions are simple and some far more complicated. But with a bit of coordination between “homeless services” and “housing providers” we can make some miracles happen.
Many thanks to those who have donated funds for our homeles re-housing initiative. We’ve added three new Rock Star’s to this effort; Paul Marion & Rosemary Noon and Karen McArdle-Guthrie. Your donations are game changers for these men and women who otherwise wouldn’t have a chance. More stories to come!
Here’s what you can do…..
1. Donate $5, $10, $25, $26 (26 Acts of Kindness), $100 or any amount you see fit. Funds to re-house homeless individuals in the City of Lowell are scarce or rather – non-existent.
2. Donate goods for those who are living outside. Great items to consider – hats, gloves, mittens, long underwear, underwear, socks, winter boots, blankets, towels, toiletries, feminine products (for the ladies), First Aid Kits, $5 gift cards to Dunkin Donuts, McDonald’s or any other local food establishment.
3. If you are a landlord or know someone who is a landlord, let us know the availability of units so that we may collect the resources necessary to re-house this very vulnerable population.
Tax deductible donations may be made payable to “CTI-INDRH” and mailed to Community Teamwork, Inc. 17 Kirk St. Lowell, MA 01852. In kind (goods contributions) may be left at the CTI Resource Center at 17 Kirk St. Lowell.
100% of the funds and in kind donations generated will go directly to the men and women living outside and their subsequent re-housing efforts in the City of Lowell. Questions about what you can do? Call Kristin (978) 654-5617 or email firstname.lastname@example.org