After struggling with surgery, chronic health concerns, and a minor legal matter that dragged out for months and months, D turned his concentration to finding work. He found three jobs! Sadly, none of these jobs really worked out. Challenged but not down, D decided to take matters into his own hands – he became a taxi driver. And he couldn’t be better suited to this new endeavor. He is wise, talkative, kind and opinionated. We are proud of D’s commitment and perseverance.
You do not know how much you mean to me! Without this place, I would be in the street with nothing or any place to place or receive calls.
I used the computers and within 4 weeks…I have gotten a job. This means so much.
My name is D. I wish and hope that you are here for everyone, always. Everyone needs a hand out no matter how proud we are. Pride can, and is very hard to swallow. If a person has a phone # or a message phone, it makes it a lot easier to not be on the street.
Without The Haven, I would not have been able to have clean clothes or a warm place to come to. I also would not have been able to call on my applications I put in. I thank The Haven from the bottom of my heart. It’s hard to swallow your pride but with The Haven, I have not had to for long.
When V heard that we were having a volunteer celebration in January, she said she wanted us to tell her story to our fabulous volunteers. She said she wanted to say thanks. She said she had things to say. Here is what she wrote:
I wanted to be here tonight, but my school commitment would not allow that to happen. Therefore, I asked Steve to read this to all of you. So, please take a moment and stand-up. If I was here tonight, I would shake hands with each and every one of you and tell you thank-you. If not for you, The Haven would not be here. I first became acquainted with The Haven in late July of last year. B., our three dogs and myself were evicted from our home and were living in a campsite. I personally have never felt homeless, that’s just a word for me. Our campsite was our home and it was filled with love and support.
In December, it was destroyed, our dogs placed with the SPCA through Animal Control, and we went into PACEM (this community’s emergency shelter). Since being at The Haven, it gave me an opportunity to take a shower, do our laundry, store our clean clothes, and look for work. I had no computer skills as I had always been a server. Trying to put an application online was like trying to navigate New York City on a bicycle! I looked at the numerous volunteers who helped me on the computer. I’d like to thank R. for the wonderful resume which helped me get employed. There are some of you who have really gone out of the way for me and I certainly appreciated it. Thanks S. and M. for your undying care and concern. Thanks to Charlottesville Health Access that helped Bobby with medical issues and my dental issues. There are 385 volunteers here at The Haven and between you, over 900 hours of community service. Pat yourselves on the back as that is impressive.
I talked to some folks who were doing a documentary on The Haven. I said being homeless to me is sleeping on the grass with a piece of cardboard under your head. In this community, you can have 3 square meals and be clean. If you walk around dirty and hungry, then you have lost your own self-respect and nobody can give that to you. I feel that being an advocate is the best I can do to let this community know that there are success stories, I know I am one of them.
I would like to let you all know how much your support on my school success means to me and its priceless.
In an unprecedented move, the White House has released Opening Doors: Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness! This document represents the first federal recognition that ending homelessness will not be accomplished on the local level alone. Instead, this plan is a call to action for coordinated services between the ‘mainstream’ resources for people in poverty, often mandated or funded at the federal level, and the grassroots efforts of communities throughout the country. The work of the newly-created Interagency Council on Homelessness, the report outlines very specific goals for the nation: end homelessness among the chronic homeless and veterans by 2015 and among children, youth and families by 2020. The Interagency Council on Homelessness is made up of leadership of the Departments of Housing and Urban Development, Labor, Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Interior, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Justice, Social Security Administration, Postal Services, and Transportation; the Corporation for National and Community Service; Office of Management and Budget; and the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. It is a welcome relief to know that so many are committed to join forces to prevent and end homelessness. Check out the work of the Thomas Jefferson Area Coalition for the Homeless and our region’s Community Plan to End Homelessness to find out more about what is happening in Central Virginia. Find out more about statewide efforts by clicking on Virginia Coalition to End Homelessness.