Hope is all around us.
We need to come together as a community and work together to end homelessness, something that exists in many different forms.
The visible—a person living outside in a makeshift shelter or a mother and child sleeping in a car at night.
The invisible—a teen couch-surfing at a friend’s house or a mother and child staying in a safe house.
The reality—We have an active caseload that hovers between 270-315 all the time.
We provide the options.
Stories of hope.
Stories and photography by Patrisha McLean
Jean’s dream of being an artist is something else that fell by the wayside and a stack of her drawings and paintings are her only possession. “It’s hard to focus when you’re bouncing around from place to place.”
Reney, Jean’s case manager at the Hospitality House, successfully appealed Jean’s rejection for MaineCare.
“That was huge,” says Jean. Reney is getting Jean into a state jobs program for people with disabilities, and working on getting her a housing voucher.
And soon, Jean will be taking an art class through Camden/Rockport adult education which waives tuition for shelter guests. “Now I feel I’m on the right path,” Jean says, “and this is the path to get me back to how I used to be.”
Jean is now in her own home and is a part of our Hospitality House staff.
Both had jobs at residences for the elderly, serving meals, when the minimum wage salary no longer covered their rent. “We were hopping couches,” Justin says.
Alyssa was put in touch with, a case manager at the Hospitality House. “He called us back the next day and said he found us an [affordable] apartment,” Alyssa says. “The minute we walked in there,” Justin adds, “it was 30 pounds off each shoulder.”
Now, we are helping Justin get into a welding program and Alyssa become certified as a nursing assistant. “When we desperately need something for Skyler, we call Hospitality House,” Justin said. “They bring us food when we don’t have any, will give us rides, and the other day they brought us a big ol’ bag of diapers.”
Logan’s mother was injured while guarding ammunition in the Iraq war. The staff at the Hospitality House is helping her to cope with the physical and emotional challenges that ensued.
Three-year-old Logan, a fan of pirates, Sponge Bob, and Kraft macaroni and cheese, is her “pride and joy.” She says, “He loves how big the house is. And he really likes Steph and Jessie,” she adds, about the facility’s director and case management intern. “He runs around the house looking for them and he’s like, ‘where are my friends?’ ”
Logan and his mom are in their own home and are in touch with our team on a regular basis.