Richard is 62 years old and originally from Galveston. He is a perfect example of how sometimes The Samaritan Inn simply has to fill an emergency gap. Due to an illness in his family, Richard lost his job. He used his savings to pay his rent, but that was quickly depleted. Richard found a new job but needed time to save up the required security deposit and first month’s rent for the new apartment. Richard’s caseworker explained to him that he was eligible for veteran’s services and put him in touch with a Collin County Veteran’s caseworker. Richard followed their directions to the letter and in just two weeks received a housing voucher. Richard stayed at the Inn two more weeks and took the voucher and his newly acquired savings and moved into his new home.
A one-month stay changed the course of his life. Richard says, “The Samaritan Inn was a lifesaver that allowed me to get back on track!”
Grant, age 44, went to live with his brother after his wife left him. Several months later, his brother suffered a stroke and had to move into a nursing home, and Grant was homeless. At his intake interview, he was very reserved and quiet. Finally, with tears in his eyes, he told his caseworker that his life had been difficult from the start. “At ten years old, I watched my stepmother kill my father with a knife. It broke my heart and caused my childhood to be chaotic. I knew I wanted something different, and I figured I could have it if I worked hard and stayed out of trouble, and yet, here I am.” His caseworker encouraged him to not give up and to continue to follow his philosophy of hard work. Grant had a full-time job when he came to the Inn but didn’t know how to manage his money. He attended our Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University classes and learned how to budget his money. He also attended our computer literacy classes. Grant told the computer instructor, “This is amazing. I used to drive all the way to Arlington every month to make my car payment because I didn’t know how to do it online. This class has saved me time and money!” Grant only stayed with us for seven weeks before he found permanent housing, but he left with new skills and a new outlook on life. We celebrate Grant’s graduation!
I often hear from former residents who want to give me an update on their lives or just share an experience. Yesterday, Deb wrote, “At my church, once a month they take a special offering for the food pantries, and I am going to start giving to that. I remember when I had to go to a food pantry to feed my child. When I told them there were two of us, they gave me a bottle of lemon pepper sauce for chicken, a can of chick peas, a can of tuna, and a loaf of bread. There was a large sign in the pantry that says you can’t complain about what you get, so I didn’t. Oh, I fried up the chick peas, and I used the tuna, spreading it as thin as I could get on the bread. When I went back the next week, I lied and said I had three children so I could get more food. I hated lying and I have asked God to forgive me, but I had to feed my child.”
Poverty exists in Collin County. You may not see it on a regular basis, but every day, someone is standing in line at a food pantry or hoping to get a spot at The Samaritan Inn. Hold them in your hearts.
Kathy is a 31 year old single mom with a 4 year old daughter. In January, her hours were significantly decreased at work and she got behind on her bills. By April, she was evicted from her apartment, and on May 4th, she came to The Samaritan Inn. A friend told her about the Inn and at intake she said, “Maybe this is the place where I can finally get back on my feet.”
Kathy is a nurse and has already found a full-time job, but her ability to manage her money has always been an issue. She is currently attending the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace class, which is mandatory for all of our residents, and she is vowing to not make the same mistakes again. We have found time and time again that even degreed professionals can have problems with budgeting, but Kathy’s caseworker feels she has finally figured it out. “She really is a pleasure to work with and has a positive outlook, and I really feel she will be successful in the future!”