AmeriCorps member helps get homeless woman off the street

by Jared Paben

"I can’t begin to tell you how good it feels to know that I helped get a homeless woman off the street and into a place that she can call home!"

AmeriCorps member helps get homeless woman off the street

Lynda M. served as an AmeriCorps member through United Communities AmeriCorps. She served at the Roseburg office of United Community Action Network on the nonprofit's case management program. She mostly worked with clients in the housing program.

Her story of service:

Last year, I worked on the Rental Assistance Wait List for Case Management for a few days. During that time, I contacted and had a bit of connection with a homeless woman. At that time, she was in her 60’s, living in a van with her cat. Her only source of income was from collecting cans and returning them for the deposit. She was bright, funny and optimistic, and I wanted desperately for us to be able to help her, but none of the funding we had available were a good match for her needs, as she really needed to get into long-term housing, not just a deposit or a couple months of rent.

Fast forward a year, I’m helping with the Wait List again and see that her name is still there. After speaking with her, I find that she is still living in the van. She has never been far from my mind and I was delighted to know that she still has a contact number.

I brought her situation to Deana’s (Lynda’s supervisor) attention, and we began to see if she could be helped by any of the available funding. After some frustrating obstacles and barriers, we were finally able to get her in long-term housing. I had the opportunity to meet her for the first time, which was a little tearful, but oh so joyous! I can’t begin to tell you how good it feels to know that I helped get a homeless woman off the street and into a place that she can call home!

Thank you for your service, Lynda!
Posted on January 2, 2014 in AmeriCorps.