By Claire Guisfredi, Executive Director
Claire’s Blog for March 2022
It broke my heart. I was leaving North Kent Connect around 6 p.m. recently when a man came to the door seeking shelter for the night. He looked to be in his mid-30s. His wife or girlfriend was in the front seat of his car, kids in the back. It was snowing like crazy. I don’t know how long they had been living in their car. I don’t know anything about him, really, or what circumstances happened in his life to get him to this point of desperation. While he waited for one of our social workers to give him a phone number, he said to me, “I never thought I’d be a statistic. I never imagined I’d be homeless.” And then he picked up his snow brush and began clearing off the windows of my car. It was such a kind, unexpected gesture.
I told him, “Don’t lose hope.” He smiled and promised he wouldn’t. As I drove home, I prayed for this man and his family and all of those who are struggling to find a warm, safe home. For too many of our clients, more than 50% of their take home pay goes toward rent or mortgage. I prayed that our case manager could connect him to resources so he can get back on his feet and find an affordable home to raise his children. It made me so proud to be working at an organization that is trying to do something about the pervasive homelessness in northern Kent County. We partner with organizations who work with unhoused teens, young adults, single adults, and families with children. We have dedicated financial resources for rent, mortgages and home repairs to help keep families housed. And we provide case management for families struggling financially and work with them to prevent the repeating cycle of crises that often lead to eviction or foreclosure.
But until everyone who wants a home has one, it’s not enough. If you, or someone you know, is struggling to pay rent or mortgage, please call us. We may be able to help.