Notes from Clients & Their Families
Success Story: Trisha
Meet Trisha – Formerly homeless and a recovering addict, she is a current Housing Support client and she shares her experience on the road to stabilization and success with the assistance of Aurora, House of Bread and Peace, and other community partners:
“Hi! My name is Trisha, and on May 23, 2013, I was released from Madison Correctional Unit on the Community Transitional Program. I was placed in the Vanderburgh County Safe House for the remainder of my sentence. The Safe House is a work release program, and I found employment at the Evansville Association of the Blind. I got out of that program on Labor Day, September 2, 2013 and was placed at The House of Bread and Peace (women’s shelter). Through that shelter, I was given a case coordinator, Rose from Aurora’s Homeless Outreach Team.
Rose enrolled me in several programs which help the homeless population find housing. She also helped me with rides to medical appointments and to look for better employment. Both Sarah and Shelly, Executive Director and House Manager of the shelter, and Rose, were extremely helpful and encouraging. Eventually, I was accepted into the Housing Support program at Aurora, and Katie, my case coordinator, met with me weekly as well as helped me look for an apartment. I also applied to Tri-State Auto Mission for assistance in obtaining a vehicle. Unfortunately, due to my felony background, most landlords did not want to rent to me, but Katie did not give up. Through her perseverance, I finally found a landlord who believed in second chances. Approximately a week after moving into my new apartment, I received a call from Tri-State Auto Mission, who sold me a high mileage van for cash. Aurora also referred me to Saint Vincent de Paul who gave me a voucher to purchase a bed.
Since becoming housed, I have become active in Churches Embracing Offenders, which requires participants to complete “Thinking for a Change, Celebrate Recovery” and attend church regularly. I chose The Gathering as my church, where Pastor Ray Brown also has an outreach program called Restore 1 More, which offers the Celebrate Recovery classes I needed to attend.
Through my many new friends at work and church, the shelter and Aurora, my apartment quickly filled up with all the items I needed to live. I am striving to give back just a little of what was so freely given to me through doing volunteer work at The House of Bread and Peace, Churches Embracing Offenders and Boom Squad. I am also currently employed at Goodwill Industries on Green River Road. I believe it is important to my recovery to continue to give back to my community and to remain a productive member of society. I struggle to make ends meet daily, but God has shown me that He can help me overcome anything. I would like to thank everyone for the help they provided me, and I want to be there to help the next person needing help.”
Email from July 2013:
I just wanted to write a little note to express my extreme appreciation of what you guys do for people in our community. I have hit a trillion hurdles (and no I am not exaggerating) the past two or three years, and I came in today to speak with Sara as a broken person. I believe she truly helped save my life today, and that may seem extreme but all I needed was one person to tell me that I am worth it. I worked hard my entire life to ensure I had the things I needed to provide for myself and my family, and I made some bad decisions in my past which still follow me today. I didn’t realize until today how much I carried all of this around with me constantly scrutinizing myself for my mistakes. Sara was a bright light for me today, and she gave me hope. The biggest gift she gave me was to start forgiving myself and believe in me again.
Sara, I just wanted to send this to you today to say thank you for accepting me and raising me up. I needed that more than I even knew I did. I have been working diligently on my “homework” this evening!
I am still very unsure of what my future holds and still pretty anxious and scared but I am extremely happy to have met you today. Thank you so much!
I am trying to look at the “big picture, and not just the piece that is missing.”
-Laura (name changed for confidentiality reasons)
Letter from Spring 2012:
Dear Aurora Staff,
Several years ago you saved my brother. I wish we could do something for you. (Every time we come to Evansville to see him, we try to bring clothes, etc. and leave them in your drop-off area. A drop in the bucket, I know…).
He still has a lot of issues, but would not be around today if it were not for your caring staff and unbelievably hard work. You were all always so patient with him.
Please keep up the fantastic work that you do- you will probably never know what you do also for the families that do care about the people you help. We were at our wit’s end with my brother and he simply would not respond to us. We did not know how to help him either, after years of trying, stress, time and money (doctors, apartments, food, etc.) It wasn’t like we didn’t try. Mike, who was in charge at the men’s shelter was also wonderful. We are right by Louisville and just could never find effective help that worked for my brother.
So again, I thank you and just want you to know how much you are appreciated! As a teacher, I know that some appreciation and recognition of your hard work and dedication can give you a boost when you have a difficult job!
I hope someday we can do more to show our appreciation.
Note from November 2011:
Aurora is a beacon of light in the darkness of despair. Giving hope to the homeless, helping to house those unfortunates who have fallen through the cracks of society, Aurora reaches out and assists those men, women and children who otherwise have no one to care for them. I was one of those unfortunates, but now, because of the help I received from the caring staff at Aurora, I am employed and living in my own apartment. Aurora works. Be a ray of light and help support Aurora in their effort to house the homeless – one person at a time, one day at a time.