Another week is passing and we have more graduates from our shelter-- that's 15 so far! This week we have two individuals who have jobs and have paid deposits on their own apartment. Their move in day will be Friday and our shelter is assisting them with move in supplies and some additional money. Both have opened savings accounts and have a plan to continue to save. Thanks to Welcome House, Community Action Commission, The Point/ARC for providing services for these two individuals.
Did you know that while in shelter, our guests are required to save 75% of their income for their recovery from homelessness? Don't you wish you had someone holding your feet to the fire like that? As our guests are staying free in our shelter and are provided with the basic necessities, we felt 75% was a fair amount to ask of them to put aside for their future. We also know that if someone is living off of an entry-level job wage ($8-$9/hr) that when they do acquire an apartment, 75% could be what they end of paying for rent, utilities and phone. A not-so-nice market rate apartment in Covington runs anywhere from $400-$500 a month without utilities. We are very fortunately to have connected with a decent landlord in town who has efficiency apartments for $380-400 a month that come with utilities included. The rooms are small, but they are clean and furnished.
We entered a new guest this week who has been living outside for a few years. He just didn't know the services that might be available to him. At 57 years of age he sat before me, barely enough energy to answer questions. He said he ate lunch everyday at Parish Kitchen but has not had an evening meal on a regular basis for many weeks. He rarely looked me in the eye and his voice was so soft that several times I had to ask him to repeat his words. I hope his depression is lifted after getting a good night's sleep and clean clothes.