On The Brink of Homelessness, Yet Full of Hopefulness
With every new year, there is an air of excitement and hopefulness. We create new goals and seek ways to grow throughout the days and months before us with little caution to the “what ifs”. Well, we can all agree, this year has brought the unexpected into our lives, collectively. At the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic, The Sharing Center was urged to keep the doors open to our neighbors in need, especially our homeless neighbors who need to feel dignified with a warm shower and laundry service – and so we did.
These last few months have shown the spirit of perseverance. We are all bearing witness to the heart of generosity. Strangers are spending hours sewing face masks. Social distancing is a new way of showing support for the greater good. Neighbors are helping neighbors who have felt the heavy burden of losing a job or furloughed.
LaDonte is one of our neighbors who has felt the brunt of financial worry. As a single father of a six-year-old daughter, LaDonte, has the constant worry, as all parents do, of creating a stable life for his child. Years ago, was his first experience with The Sharing Center. Homeless but hopeful, we worked together to find and furnish LaDonte a new place to call home. You can imagine the despair he felt when COVID-19 surfaced and his place of employment at a restaurant was forced to close. Without income, the reality of reliving homelessness felt too close for comfort. LaDonte reached out to The Sharing Center again and immediately we were able to save him and his daughter from eviction.
At the onset of the crisis, The Sharing Center launched Operation Good Samaritan as an effort to raise the needed funds to help families like LaDonte’s from reliving or realizing hunger and homelessness. Funds raised can now help provide financial assistance for up to 510 of our neighbors from losing their homes and their hope. When LaDonte was asked, “What is the most impactful gift you received from The Sharing Center?”, his response was unexpectedly not the financial assistance he was gifted, yet, “My bike. This allows me to create stability for myself and my daughter and gives me transportation for work.” It really is the little things we can all do to help our neighbors in need, especially during this extraordinary time.
On September 5, 2020, The Sharing Center will host its first ever Sweet Bites & Bikes, a virtual event, to raise critically needed funds to provide the “little things”, the essential resources served to lift an individual or family away from the experiences of poverty. Gifts like bus passes or bicycles for transportation, a place to take a warm shower and receive laundry service, or a new pair of shoes for a child returning to school – all so little, yet can and do majorly impact someone’s life. For more information about Sweet Bites & Bikes and how you help support families like LaDonte’s, visit: www.thesharingcenter.org/sweetbitesandbikes.