Karen* and her husband John* returned to the Buffalo area because John had family here and they hoped to receive some help. With Karen pregnant and unable to get the help they needed from John's family, they soon found themselves living in a hotel.
I wasn't until they ran out of food and had no money that they turned to Catholic Charities for help because they “didn’t know where else to go.”
Although they both struggle with mental illness, they recognized that the pregnancy, food and shelter were their more immediate needs. They also knew they needed to ask for outside help, so to the Batavia office they went.
“From the moment we walked in to the Catholic Charities office, they helped us,” said Karen. “A social worker helped us get a meal and some groceries right away.”
And, the assistance didn’t stop there.
The Catholic Charities social worker assigned to their case worked on their behalf. Through collaboration with other agencies she was able to secure temporary housing for Karen and John. Additionally, she was able to set up a food supply which would last until they were able to find a more permanent solution.
Having a place to live that wasn’t a hotel, and enough food for the short-term, Karen and Joe were able to focus on their mental and other physical health needs.
Having helped Karen and Joe get back on their feet and obtain the tools to be able to work toward self-sufficiency, their Catholic Charities social worker assured Karen that if things ever got tough for them again, they need only to reach out to her and she will be there for them.
“We are so thankful for her,” Karen said, “She never once judged us; she made us feel good because she was willing to help us.”
Karen and John both know they have a way to go before being where they want to be, but this time things are different. They know they have a support system in Catholic Charities if they ever find themselves in dire straits again.
“We really didn’t think we were going to make it," said Karen. "But Catholic Charities helped us. Catholic Charities will help us.Catholic Charities helps everyone.”
*The names of this couple have been changed to protect their privacy.