CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Sue was a victim of Hurricane Katrina -- the 2005 storm that left New Orleans and much of the Gulf Coast devastated.
Like many impacted by Katrina, Sue and Sammy -- her service dog -- became refugees of the storm and migrated north to stay with family in Maryland.
The storm's affect didn't stop there. Sue, who always suffered from emotional issues, became overwhelmed by the trauma of Katrina. She became dependent upon alcohol for comfort. She also took up with a bad crowd that only facilitated her habit.
Sue's family convinced her to move to West Virginia to escape temptation, but she only met further challenges. Those who were supposed to help Sue leave alcohol behind and get on her feet began to demand part of her SSI check and took away Sammy. Sue began to decline and was, once again, left alone to cope in an area homeless shelter.
Luckily, Sue was connected with Covenant House's Community Housing Program, which operates HUD residences for people who have disabling mental health issues or are HIV-positive. Covenant House worked with Sue to help her transition to living independently in Charleston and reunited her with Sammy.
Covenant House is one of the many organizations that benefits from the Gazette Charities Christmas Fund.
You can help Covenant House and Community Housing continue to facilitate independent and stable living environments for those in the Charleston area by donating to the fund.
The Gazette covers the administrative costs of the fund, so every penny donated goes to agencies and people who need help. All donations to Gazette Charities are tax-deductible.
To donate, look for the donation coupon in today's paper or click the Gazette Charities Christmas Fund logo on this website.