S is a loving, compassionate single father of two kids, a son and a daughter. After 2 years of being homeless, he connected with Catholic Charities, and after working hard for 5 months, found his permanent home. S credits his spirituality and relationship with God as the reason why he was able to persevere and reach his goal.

S became homeless after separating from his fiancee of 10 years. His children remained with her because he wasn’t in the financial place to support and take care of them. After leaving, he was couch surfing and spending time at other people’s homes. His fiancee’s mother and S were very close and she was a big help with taking care of the kids. Soon after, the mother passed away but not before making him promise he would take care of his children. The fiancee’s mother’s death was very hard on her and she was no longer able to take care of the kids. That is when S stepped back in and took custody.

By this time, S was renting a room from a friend and moved his children in with him. It was then that he contacted Catholic Charities to get support and access resources. S said it wasn’t an easy connection to make as he had worked with Catholic Charities previously, but didn’t leave on good terms. S shared that he had been incarcerated just before contacting the organization for the first time. When he was released, his fiancee and the kids were living in a hotel. Due to his children’s medical and mental health needs, he knew he needed to find a more stable living environment. He was able to find resources that allowed him to pay for the hotel for a couple more weeks and got on food stamps, then reached out to Catholic Charities as the money ran out. He couldn’t let his kids be on the streets. He worked with Catholic Charities for about 3 months and then ended up back in jail.

S did his time and when he got out, immediately contacted Catholic Charities. They were hesitant at first, according to S, to work with him as there was a lot of cleanup that happened when he was incarcerated, and trust lost. It took about a month and a half of hard work on S’s part to convince them to take another chance. He promised to be a “Catholic Charities poster child” and followed through with his word. After 5 months of living in Catholic Charities’ shelter, S said he was lucky and found a homeowner willing to rent to him.

When asked what helped S stay motivated to work and get housing, he says it was his spirituality. He said that God has shown himself to him his whole life, but there was a time he didn’t listen. He now does and he says he is blessed. He further said that it was also the people that stepped in to help. All he needed was “a pat on the back.” S downplayed his part in the process and says he feels he didn’t do much. He credits Catholic Charities and Inspired Spaces Foundation for getting him to where he is now.

His love for his “babies” is also a major factor in his success. It is clear that his son and daughter are the center of his life and he will do anything to ensure they are safe and happy. He shared that he feels sad that they had to go through the things they did, but sees them happy in their new home and knows they are OK. Having a stable home has allowed the kids to convince their dad to get two kittens and a dog that now make up their family.

S is very thankful for what Inspired Spaces Foundation has done to help create their new home. He shares his kids’ joy in what they now have. His daughter, prior to the foundation furnishing their home, told her father that she loved they had a home but just wanted a bigger couch. Inspired Spaces Foundation was able to provide that for her. She also very much loves her room as she keeps it almost exactly the same as the day of the installation, down to how the throw blanket on her bed is folded.

S’s experience with being homeless has motivated him to want to start his own nonprofit where he can help families experiencing similar circumstances, access resources and find their own homes. He is determined that one day, he will be a partner nonprofit with Inspired Spaces Foundation.

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Success Stories

Whether it was escaping abuse, struggling with substance abuse issues and mental health challenges, or lack of income to pay rent, each person has demonstrated strength, resilience, perseverance and courage to ask for help.