Timothy was doing everything he could to protect his three children – ages 6, 7 and 8– from an abusive situation. Shortly after taking full custody and already stretched financially, Timothy lost his job. Soon they were without a home. “For two nights we slept outside. I knew I had to protect them, so we came to the shelter,” Timothy recalls.
Timothy had certainly never planned on needing a homeless shelter, but he is grateful for the safety net it offered. “It gave me peace of mind knowing that I didn’t have to worry about my kids eating. It felt good to be able to cover up at night and have a pillow to put our heads on.”
Today, Timothy and his family are living together in a three-bedroom home in Dayton. Timothy shares, “It was a weight off my shoulders to finally be rehoused. St. Vincent case managers helped me get my ID and social security card and helped me complete the applications. I truly believe without St. Vincent we’d still be homeless. I owe everything to them.” With a grin, he adds, “We got our house.”
It is still far from easy, but Timothy’s eyes light up as he talks about their new home. “The best thing about having a house is having us all together. Our stay at the shelter made us even closer. It showed me how much I meant to them and how much they meant to me. The kids are so much happier. We sit down as a family and eat breakfast and dinner every day. We talk. We laugh. Now, I appreciate it all more.”
While spending time in a homeless shelter was not a part of life that Timothy envisioned, he knows it was the helping hand needed to keep his family safe and secure. “This is a place where everybody is here for the same reason – to get help. People might come here with nothing, but you leave with a lot more than you came with. You leave with peace of mind.”