Member Agency Story
Managing Homelessness in Central New Jersey
Behind the statistics of homelessness in Central New Jersey are real people like Flory, who, with a little temporary housing assistance from Catholic Charities, Diocese of Trenton, can pull themselves out of homelessness.
A smart, easy-going elderly woman, Flory, was living on the streets several months ago. At this low point in her life, when she was feeling scared and hopeless about her future, she turned to Catholic Charities for hope and help.
With her modest Social Security income, Flory qualified for Catholic Charities’ Rapid Rehousing program which placed her in safe housing within two weeks. While living there, Flory’s case aid, Rakeli Stafford, and case manager, Mosudi Idowu, worked with her to apply for permanent housing specifically for seniors. Idowu knew, “the best place for Flory was with a community of her peers and close to her church.”
Flory’s wait wasn’t long as a perfect space for her became available quicker than expected. However, Flory had been unable to save up enough money to cover the cost of the security deposit and first month’s rent. Idowu told Flory to stay hopeful as he reached out to fellow co-worker, Lisha LooMorgan with Catholic Charities’ Parish Services program. Loo-Morgan was able to secure the funds needed to ensure Flory could call the new senior living space “home”. The program paid her security deposit, first month’s rent, and a portion of the following months’ rent. Very soon, Flory will be paying the entire rent herself and she couldn’t be happier.
Flory now lives in a supportive community, is on the verge of living independently, and can walk to her church every day, which is very important to her. “I’m very, very thankful to Catholic Charities—they gave me hope and a home,” shared Flory with a smile. People from all backgrounds and all religions deserve a chance to achieve self-sufficiency. By strengthening individuals and families, Catholic Charities is dramatically reducing homelessness in Central New Jersey.