"No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted." -- Aesop
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A long history of abusive relationships helped lead to Cathy's four years of homelessness.
When Cathy first enrolled in the Covenant House's Housing First program she was nervous, staff said.
The nonprofit's newest program is based on the concept that providing housing first and then adding supportive service options -- such as mental and physical health, substance abuse, education and employment -- "helps speed the reintegration of clients into the community," according to the organization's website.
Cathy lived in a small apartment near Manna Meal and the YWCA to help make her move easier.
Once she was stabilized, Cathy finally had surgery for a degenerative back disease that made lifting and carrying nearly impossible after she had worked as a waitress for 16 years.
Cathy got her Social Security benefit just before Thanksgiving. With her new income, Cathy paid back debts and applied for public housing. When she was accepted into public housing, Cathy said she was "excited and terrified" at becoming more independent.
Covenant House staff said being a part of Cathy's growing confidence and abilities has been "remarkable and little by little Cathy was able to reclaim her life."
Please consider helping Covenant House help people like Cathy by donating to the Gazette Charities Christmas Fund. (Look for the donation coupon with this story.)
When you make a donation to the Gazette Charities Christmas Fund, every penny goes to the agencies and people who need help.
The Gazette covers the administrative costs of the fund. All donations to Gazette Charities are tax-deductible.
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Reach Megan Workman at megan.work...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5113.