After trying five other agencies, Catholic Charities was their last hope. The middle-aged couple, Matt and Anne tried to hide their weariness through smiles as they walked into the Catholic Charities office.
When the caseworker greeted them and asked what she could do for them, tears welled up in their eyes. Asking for help was something they were still not used to doing, even after the painful year they had just been through.
Matt had recently been discharged from the hospital after almost an entire year of treatment of a serious illness. He thought coming home would help bring back his dignity and make him feel like a normal person again. But when he came home, he realized that the two-floor apartment he and his wife had shared for many years, was no longer the place of comfort and ease it once had been.
Due to his illness, it is now too difficult for Matt to climb the stairs up to the second floor bathroom, the only one in the place. He now needs help from his wife to complete the simple task of going to the bathroom. The stress in his face seemed tangible as he explained, “I want my wife to be my wife again, not my nurse.”
Matt and Anne had come to Catholic Charities because after searching for a one-floor apartment, they had found one, and were approved to move in- BUT with one small catch- that they pay the security deposit and one month’s rent by the end of the day. Matt and Anne were not prepared for this, and due to the costly hospitalization, did not have the extra funds to make this happen at such short notice.
The couple explained that they had $200 saved that they could put toward the new apartment, but that left $95 in rent and a $520 security deposit that they could not cover. After listening to their story and looking into Emergency Service funds, which are available to help families through this eact type of one-time crisis situation, the Catholic Charities caseworker was able to give them the good news they had been praying to hear.
“We can cover the difference between what you have saved and what you need to pay, so that you can secure this apartment today.”
By the end of the visit, for a low cost of $615, Catholic Charities was able to literally open a door for this couple that would change their lives forever. They were able to go straight to the apartment and hand in the money and sign their new lease.
The next day, Anne came back to the office with a thank you note for her caseworker. She gave her a hug and tried to describe how much it meant to her husband that he could now walk into the bathroom on his own. “Your compassion, and that check,” she explained, “gave us a lease to a new home, but it also gave my husband back his dignity and a new lease on life. I can’t explain how much that means to us. You said yes when everyone else had said no. Thank you.”
Stories like this are possible every day because of the generous support of volunteers, donors, and sponsors of Catholic Charities Diocese of Norwich. If you would like to be a part of helping local families in need like Anne and Matt, please visit http://www.ccfsn.org and click “Donate.”