John Jones was sitting at Catholic Charities waiting to be called to go to the Clothing Closet when a lady stepped into the lobby and asked if anyone waiting needed anything besides food or clothing.
Jones, a disabled U.S. Army veteran, had recently attained housing after three months of homelessness, but the only furniture in his apartment was a bed. He told the lady about his predicament, and she immediately began working with him to help solve the problem.
That lady is the care coordinator for Driving the Dream at Catholic Charities – a program that helps people move from poverty to self-sufficiency by connecting them with resources and providing guidance and encouragement to help them make their dreams come true.
Sometimes that dream can be as simple as the comfort of home.
“Catholic Charities is a good place,” John said. “People that need help, they help them, whatever they need – food, clothing, housing.”
He started working with Driving the Dream that day, and Catholic Charities connected him with St. Ann Catholic Church in Bartlett where he received a donation of a couch, recliner, rugs, a table and even a vacuum cleaner to keep his rugs clean.
Helping Jones turn an empty apartment into a home “makes me feel like I am in my purpose as to what God would have me do,” said Catholic Charities care coordinator Deloris Clayborne. “We have started the process of his dream, and we are refining the plan as we go and addressing the issues to completely land him to self-sufficiency.”
Today, the 58-year-old veteran enjoys his home and his life as he prepares for his second total hip replacement at the Veteran’s Hospital.
“I love this time of year,” he said of autumn. “Now it’s done got cold, and I don’t have to worry about finding a warm place to sleep.”
You can support people like John Jones on their journey to self-sufficiency by donating to our annual campaign here.