Our family had taken in a friend who had no place to go temporarily, and as a result our house became infested with bedbugs. We didn't have the money to have the house and all the furniture treated by a pest control company, and we had to leave everything behind. Another friend told us about St. Vincent DePaul Mission Thrift Store. The staff at the Thrift Store gave us dressers, beds, linens, and kitchenware that we needed to start over. We just want to say thank you for everything you did for our family. You guys are a blessing.
My name is Joe. I had been homeless for about two years, and had stayed at St. Vincent DePaul Mission's homeless shelter. Last year, I received my housing voucher, and was able to obtain an additional voucher through St. Vincent DePaul Mission for furniture. I went to the Thrift Store, where I was greeted by Flora, your store manager. What a pleasure it has been working with her! She is a very hard worker. She went out of her way to provide me with all the necessary things for my new housing—furniture, etc. Because of her professionalism, I still come to your store and purchase appliances and furniture that I need. She is a definite asset to your organization.
The staff at St. Vincent's made sure I had a safe place to sleep, kept me away from drugs, helped go to the grocery store so I would have enough food for the month, made sure I was taking my medications and working with my doctors to feel better. It was here that I developed friendships and a stronger than ever relationship with my family.
I have been living at Mark Lane for over two years now. Thanks to the support they provide to me, I am now in more control of my life. I have a bank account that I am working to pay more of my own bills with. I have been put on subsidized housing waitlists and I have a strong social connection with my fellow residents and friends. We have worked to get me involved with work readiness programs and I will soon start to volunteer for St. Vincent DePaul so that when a job becomes available, I will be ready.
I came from Puerto Rico to live with a family member in Waterbury. After a few weeks, I was told I could no longer stay there. I had no other choice but to come to the shelter. I am working and had a sustainable source of income. Like many shelter guests, I just needed some temporary assistance from the shelter. The Shelter referred me to the ESG Rapid Re-housing Program. The shelter was able to help with security deposit and first month's rent. My case manager helped me get legal ID's to get an apartment. Within a week, I was housed. The Mission gave me a furniture voucher to their Thrift Store to furnish my new apartment. When the landlord handed me the keys to my new apartment my face lit up with gratitude. The smile on my face was proof enough how truly grateful I am for all the services I received at the shelter.
I became homeless after my family abandoned me. I came to the shelter with nothing, no entitlements and no income. Before I came to the shelter I applied for Social Security benefits however, during my move from Stanford CT, and New York I lost paperwork. The shelter helped me call social security to get my entitlements established. The shelter also helped me with getting medical insurance and food stamps. After I received benefits, my case manager and I researched apartments and I transitioned quickly into an apartment. Without the shelter, I don't know what I would have done.
I came to the shelter after my wife died on Thanksgiving Day. I lost everything. When I got to the shelter I just started a job. Before going to the shelter, I started drinking again due to my wife's death. I had been sober from many years, but could not cope and lost everything. I am grateful for the assistance and while was at the shelter my boss saw my hard work and extended me the opportunity to move into a one-bedroom apartment. The Mission assisted me with getting a voucher for all of my basic needs. The shelter gave me a furniture voucher and I moved out on May 24, 2018.
Before I was receiving services I was living with family and part of the YAS program. Then I got an apartment, but lost it because I was using alcohol and drugs and ended up in the hospital. That's how I ended up at Casa De Rosa group home. At Casa De Rosa I learned coping and life skills. Now I'm sober and live in an apartment with a roommate.
Before Casa De Rosa I was living in my own apartment, but I lost it because I was partying using alcohol and drugs. Then I was probated to the hospital. After the hospital I lived in different shelters, a Respite bed and a group home in Willimantic. That's when I moved to Casa De Rosa. At Casa I learned coping skills and how to manage my money. The routine and structure there helped me. Today my lifestyle has changed because I feel healthier and I feel good about myself. I haven't used in a long time and now I share an apartment with a friend.
I have been going to the soup kitchen since I was nine years old. They have helped me so much with anything that I needed, like food, toiletries, and supplies. I am now 18 and I like to volunteer there and see how they help others. It's not all about food and go. We are like a family giving and helping one another.
Today is a good day. Hi, my name is Jose L. Rivera. I'm a father of five beautiful, loving kids. I'm deaf. I work very hard to provide for them, but sometimes it's hard to be able to: That's when St. Vincent DePaul Mission Soup Kitchen and Food Pantry comes in and helps me a lot by giving, providing food for my family and friends, and giving back to the community food to eat on the spot, and some giveaways, and they are so friendly, kind, and loving. Thank you for that and that is why I love St. Vincent DePaul—for helping in times of need. And, my kids love going to St. Vincent DePaul Mission to eat!
Thank you St. Vincent DePaul for helping people in need.
Jose L. Rivera