“What and who is Aurora and why were they speaking at my church’s Alter Society meeting????” Little did I know, the big Man upstairs had it all planned out. That night changed my life. I lived in my own little world and I thought that we only had a few homeless people in Evansville. You know, the ones that stood on the street corner with their signs! Wow, was I wrong.
You always hear the saying, right place at the right time. That was so true for me. I talked to the Aurora speaker after the meeting to inquire more about Aurora’s big plan. That’s when I heard about a new program called HPRP “Homeless Prevention and Rapid Rehousing Program. They had an opening for a Housing Broker.
This job was right up my alley because I sold real estate for 20 years. I would find a home to rent, negotiate the term, take them to the lease signing and give them the keys to their new home, just like real estate. Oh but it wasn’t, it was much more!!
Every client had a story to how they became homeless. The sad part was, I knew friends who were one step away from the same story. The reason for their homelessness might have been a job loss or a sick family member. Life is much harder these days. I met some amazing clients while working at Aurora.
Carrie Underwood sings a song called “Temporary Home”. The words ring true.
Young mom on her own
She needs a little help, got nowhere to go
She’s looking for a job, looking for a way out
‘Cause a halfway house will never be a home
At night she whispers to her baby girl
“Someday we’ll find our place here in this world”
“This is our temporary home, it’s not where we belong
Windows and rooms that we’re passing through
This is just a stop on the way to where we’re going
I’m not afraid because I know this is our temporary home”
Our goal at Aurora is to take our clients from temporary homes to permanent homes. Aurora is my temporary home as my job is ending at the end of the year. It has been a great 4 years and I am very proud to have worked at Aurora.
Like the last part of the song states,
Old man, hospital bed
The room is filled with people he loves
And he whispers “Don’t cry for me, I’ll see you all someday”
He looks up and says “I can see God’s face”
“This is my temporary home.”
No matter where you lay your head down tonight, just know, this is our temporary home.
Sherry Schapker is the Housing Broker for Aurora and the Housing Data Analyst for the City of Evansville. She oversees the housing selection process for the Emergency Shelter Grant. She also is creating a Landlord Registry database that will be used by many departments for the City of Evansville. Sherry has over 20 years of real estate experience as a real estate broker. She was a broker/owner of her own real estate office. She worked for Center Township Assessor’s office collecting land values for the new taxation currently in place. She maintains and creates other databases. Sherry joined the Aurora staff as part of the HPRP Program in September 2009.