Always my home

I began my foray into homelessness in 2009 when I nervously began my social work career as an intern on Aurora’s Homeless Outreach Team. However, it didn’t take long for me to come out of my shell and jump right in to servicing our local homeless. Like an addiction, I was instantly hooked on meeting all of these interesting people laid before me.…

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The Struggle

It is getting more difficult every day to find affordable housing that meets HUD requirements that housing is decent, safe and sanitary.  I have been a HUD certified housing inspector for 6 years. It has always been a struggle to find landlords that are willing to work with HUD assisted housing programs. Every week as I go out and do housing inspections the units are becoming less affordable and more despicable.…

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Part 1: Luzada’s Departure

This is Part 1 of a four-part series over the next few months as Luzada’s time at Aurora comes to a close. She will be retiring from her current position as Executive Director on December 31. 

Fifteen years ago when I walked into this organization, I was one of seven staff.  My task was to be the Program Director for the Homeless Outreach Team, which was our only program at the time.…

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If you can’t feed a hundred people…

“If you can’t feed a hundred people, then just feed one.”

This quote from Mother Teresa hangs in my office as a daily reminder.  When we serve the homeless we are not serving an abstract concept or only trying to reduce some statistic (number of homeless in our community), but we are touching people’s lives on a very personal level one at a time. …

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Identification

Pull out your ID.  Take a look at it.  I bet you are critical about the picture; would you really like it better if you could have smiled?  Now embrace your ID.  That’s right, hold it up to your cheek, gaze at it longingly, and truly appreciate it because most of you take it for granted.  Without a valid picture ID you cannot get proof of your social security number or request a copy of your birth certificate. …

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