At the office we ring a bell to celebrate accomplishments.
One day Case Manager Melody Blakemore rang that bell with great enthusiasm because after more than a decade of homelessness Mr. Ben was moving into a place of his own!
We first met Mr. Ben about a year ago at a local restaurant when he asked for money to get a meal. He was frail, dirty, and his feet had open wounds. He was homeless and secretly living in a school bus.
After buying him dinner, we arranged for a bed at the motel and made a plan to see him at Fayette Cares the next day. Imagine the disappointment when he never checked in.
For days we looked for him, armed with a backpack of food, hygiene products, and information about our services. And finally, we spotted him.
It took some time before Mr. Ben finally came to our office. But not for shelter, he wasn’t ready for that, only for food.
Melody was patient, encouraging and supportive. She built rapport and trust, and finally convinced him to stay in the shelter.
There Mr. Ben blossomed. He keep his unit tidy, was warm and friendly to all, and his love for cooking was reawakened.
He had an uphill battle, so do all of our clients. But he was committed to never returning to a life on the streets.
Fast forward to the bell. Melody and the staff cheered for Mr. Ben, who had a job and was moving into a small apartment with help from our housing program.
Donors provided bedding, towels, cooking supplies, food, and essentials. Staff and volunteers helped assemble and setup donated furniture, making this a true home for Mr. Ben. “Nobody has helped me the way Fayette Cares has,” said Mr. Ben.
We asked how it felt to sleep in a bed of his own, “feels like heaven!” he said. A fitting comment because he and other clients call Melody an angel.
Each of you are angels! Because of your donations, volunteer talents, and caring support, this life is forever changed – YOU DID THIS!