Here are a few brief stories about some of the guests that have been at St. Luke’s in the last three years. Names and some details of their stories have been changed to protect anonymity.
- Beth is a middle-aged woman with severe health problems. She was on disability but lost her benefits due to a bureaucratic issue. With no income, she lost her housing and had no place to go. We welcomed her into the Guesthouse where she stayed until, with the help of Senator McGovern and Congressman Neal, her benefits were reinstated, and she got back into an apartment of her own. She wrote us: “I will never forget everything you’ve done for me. A great big heartfelt thank you to each of you. I really appreciate everything.”
- We got a call from one of the local churches about a family in need. Don and Sally with their four children were homeless. They had moved to Rhode Island but Don had lost his job there and they had to return to the area where they were living in Sally’s mother’s living room—six people in one room. The landlord said they had to leave. It took a while because of several health crises but they got a grant from RCAP to pay first/last/security and were finally able to get into their own apartment. At the end of their stay they wrote us a thank you note: “Thank you for everything you have done for me and my family. We are so grateful for everything.”
- Sam and Helen are a middle-aged couple that fell on hard times. Helen was disabled and unable to work. Sam lost his job and they fell behind financially and were forced out of their apartment. Before coming to the Guesthouse, they had been living in their car for three weeks. During the time they were with us, Sam did various odd jobs around the House, repainting several rooms. Sam finally found a job and he and Helen were able to move out into an apartment with their son.
- Maria was a young single woman who had been homeless for several years since at the age of seventeen she was kicked out of the house by her mother—in a snowstorm. She has struggled with drug addiction and severe depression. When Maria came to the Guesthouse she was doing well with drug treatment and clean but had no place to live—other than to stay with drug-using friends. We took her in and welcomed her. Shortly after arriving she discovered that she was four months pregnant. At first Maria wanted to have an abortion but with encouragement and support she decided to keep the baby. She remained with us for the rest of her pregnancy and delivered a son, generally healthy though four weeks premature.
- Antonio is a young man, married with several children who got down on his luck. He lost his job, got in a fight with his wife and had to leave the house. Having no money and no place else to go, he was on the street. We welcomed him to the Guesthouse where he stayed for just a couple of weeks. During his time with us, Antonio and his wife reconciled and he was able to move back home.
- Larry is a chronically homeless older man who is disabled and unable to work. He was sleeping in a friend’s car for several weeks but that fell through and Larry wound up on the street one cold night with no place to go. Our outreach worker feared he would freeze to death and brought him back to the Guesthouse. We provided a place for him to stay for several weeks till his sister agreed to take him in.
- Paul is a young man who has struggled with alcoholism since a young age. He was living in a flophouse with others who were drinking and drugging. Determined to get sober he tried to get a bed in a detox program to no avail. We welcomed him into the Guesthouse if he would agree to engage in alcohol treatment and stay sober. Aside from two minor slips he was successful in maintaining his abstinence during his stay at the House. During the course of our involvement with Paul, he decided he wished to be baptized. With great joy he was baptized and received into the Catholic Church in 2016.
- Leann was a single mom who was working, supporting herself and her three children when her world came apart. One of her children was sick and she had to call out of work. As a result she was fired from her job, got behind on her rent and had to move in with her mother who was living in senior housing. After a few weeks she was told she had to leave but had no place to go with her kids. We welcomed her to the House and helped her and the kids get settled down. Leann got another job—a good job with benefits. She was able to get an RCAP grant, got an apartment and move out on her own.
- We recently had a guest with us, “Larry,” who had been homeless for over ten years. He now has a place to call his own. A friend of Larry’s wrote us a note of thanks: “Larry has made great strides, getting his disability approved, food stamps, and regular medical care…This temporary housing [at the Guesthouse] has given him the opportunity for healthy structure and safety. Thank you so much…I am so glad and relieved for Larry, ensuring a more stable, safe, dignified, quality of life.”