Did you know that it is rare for a person to become homeless due tojust one reason? Homelessness occurs when a person’s housing and economic issues collide with another crisis such as medical illness, domestic violence, physical or mental illness, addictions, or relational strains.
When this perfect storm occurs, those who are successful in life or who have family or friends to lean on, can often find a way through it. For those living in poverty, without the support of family or friends, or dealing with some of the barriers listed above, they often becomehomelessness. According to 2010 Census data, 14.3% of people nationwide are living in poverty; in the state of Ohio, the rate was 13.6%. Since 2010 family households entering into our St. Vincent de Paul Gateway Shelters have increased 21%.
On September 30thof this year, we sheltered 30 families with a total of 77 children; approximately our average each night throughout the month.
We at St. Vincent’s often hear from people who say, “The homeless just need to get a job.” What most people don’t know is that many people who experience homelessness are employed. In 2012, the U.S. Conference of Mayors Status Report on Hunger & Homelessness reportedthat 17% of homeless adults in families were working. In our Gateway Shelters we are helping those who are working by providing a safe and secure place to rest, shower and prepare for their workday. Our mission is to offer emergency shelter until affordable housing can be found; to keep their stay with us as brief as possible and to help them remain employed.
The issues described above are just a part of the landscape we see at the St. Vincent de Paul. Our goal is to provide a safe and clean shelter, along with hope, to individuals and families who are at-risk. In 2012, St. Vincent de Paul District Council of Dayton helped over 1,300 homeless individuals and families leave the shelter to permanent housing. We provided over 300,000 meals to 30,000 people through our pantries and in our shelters.
At St.Vincent de Paul we offer a meaningful starting place for a person to recover from homelessness. Seeking help can be a daunting task and we are here to offer temporary shelter from the storms of life.
The work we do cannot be done without support from individuals like you. If you would like more information on how you can help, please call us at (937) 222-7349 or visit us at www.stvincentdayton.org.