At 53-years-old, Gypsy (her street name) has been homeless for most of her life. She has had a long relationship with the Union Gospel Mission. “UGM has been beside me the whole time” smiles Gypsy.”
This last Winter was especially tough for Gypsy. She suffers from palsy and severe back pain. In the brisk cold of winter, Gypsy’s pain became unbearable. “Union Gospel Mission’s Search + Rescue had to come just to help me get out of my hooch (a homemade tent),” explains Gypsy. “I told them that I just couldn’t do this anymore.”
UGM’s Search + Rescue outreach went to work to find a home for Gypsy. They connected Gypsy to another local non-profit who helped her find an apartment. Search + Rescue helped her get a photo ID, and submit applications, and gave her a ride to and from her new apartment to meet with the manager. In a short-time Gypsy got her apartment, Search + Rescue even helped her get furniture and move in.
The Search + Rescue outreach team becomes more than partners with people experiencing homelessness, they become trusted friends. “UGM gave me the boost I needed to get housing,” exclaims Gypsy, “I couldn’t have done it without them.”
Most people will never fully understand the challenges that our homeless neighbors face trying to get housing. The streets are dangerous and unforgiving. Often the most vulnerable people become the most victimized. It’s not uncommon for people on the streets to have everything they possess stolen or damaged. This includes losing identification and important papers. Imagine getting a check cashed, or renting an apartment or getting a job without any ID. That’s only one of many challenges that keep people bound to a life of homelessness and hopelessness.
Because of you, we can help people like Gypsy navigate the complexities of getting off the streets and back into a healthy lifestyle.