Posted January 30, 2023 in Staff Stories
Michael, a Navy Veteran, walked into our agency seeking help. He had recently been displaced. After hearing his story and what he was going through medically, our case manager knew she had to help this man at all costs for someone who served our country and then went on to the Reserves to continue serving.
He came into the Catholic Charities office defeated in every aspect of the word. He was homeless, disheveled and couldn’t even think straight. He could not see even a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.
Catholic Charities immediately placed him in a hotel to keep him off the streets. He needed to have a stable roof over his head due to the many medications he was taking for two different forms of cancer, and he had a PIC line in that had to be cleaned daily. He could breathe again with having a roof over his head and he could try to gather his thoughts and develop a plan with support from Catholic Charities.
Unfortunately, per the SSVF guidelines, Catholic Charities can only place a veteran in a hotel for 72 hours, so once he checked out of the hotel, he went to stay with family in New York and traveled back and forth to Allentown weekly to get his cancer treatments. This took a toll on him, but our staff was determined to find an apartment for him to move into ASAP. He needed to stay in Allentown because his medical team was here.
Thankfully, a landlord that Catholic Charities has developed a great working relationship with had an apartment that was going to be available within a week or two and was more than willing to rent to Navy Veteran Michael. Without a second thought, Catholic Charities chose him for the “Shallow Subsidy” program which will assist with his rental payments for two years. Catholic Charities couldn’t have chosen a better candidate for that assistance!
Everything was falling into place for him, you could see the anguish on his face slowly chisel away. He finally had a place where he could lay his head at night. Through the SSVF program, we were able to purchase furniture at Boscov’s, where he picked out a bed and a lounge chair. He was so excited; he couldn’t wait to show us the pictures! Thankfully through donations, Catholic Charities was also able to give him a couple gift cards to get some groceries and a box of non-perishables from our food pantry.
He walked into the Catholic Charities office a week ago and he’s a changed man! Staff couldn’t believe their eyes! He was nicely dressed; he had a smile on his face and a spring in his step!
His PIC line has since been removed, what a joyous time for him! Medically it’s been a long road for him. He’s been able to eat healthily, he’s been working out again, swimming multiple times a week and he is just able to breathe again without worrying where he is going to lay his head that night.
The Catholic Charities staff are so thrilled for him because he’s been put through the ringer….medically, emotionally and physically.
Thank you, Michael, for serving our country. God bless the USA!