Chris and his son thank a generous donor who dropped off new toys at Room at the Inn.

Chris and his son thank a generous donor who dropped off new toys at Room at the Inn.

Spring is a time of change and renewal. Now as summer approaches and spring slowly comes to an end, we see how the trees have sprouted their leaves and flowers have blossomed. Similarly, at Room at the Inn, we see every day how our clients grow personally as they find solutions to their homelessness.

One of the families currently staying with us is a wonderful example of the new beginnings Room at the Inn can provide to the less fortunate.

Our client Chris, his wife and two-year-old son arrived at our shelter almost a month ago with measured hope and many fears.

Chris said prior to Room at the Inn, he and his family were staying with relatives at an apartment. Then the landlord called. The apartment they were living in had an occupancy limit which they were violating. Jobless, with a second child on the way, and no place to stay, everything seemed to be going in the wrong direction.

Then, his wife decided to call the Catholic Charities’ Homeless Hotline, which refers clients to shelters like Room at the Inn.

“It was scary,” Chris said. “We didn’t know anybody. We did not know what to expect.”

Upon arrival at Room at the Inn, however, Chris said the shelter gave him a chance to start over and work hard to change his condition.

“I just kept thinking, ‘I need to take care of my family. I can’t move backwards. I need to keep moving forward,'” Chris explained.

While working with Room at the Inn’s employment program specialist, Chris was offered a job at a manufacturing company. In his application letter, Chris was not embarrassed by his current condition but, rather, empowered by the possibilities of making a positive change.

“In my cover letter I basically told them I had a family and that we were in a homeless shelter,” Chris said. “I told them I needed to be a man and take care of my family and provide for them. The hiring manager said she called me because of my cover letter and said she wanted to give me a chance.”

Now with a job, Room at the Inn is helping Chris find permanent or transitional housing. Chris said this experience has helped him understand that life is never over if you don’t give up.
“You just have to pray and strive to always go forward,” Chris said. “You have to have faith and keep searching. Everything changes for the better, if you make it happen.”