In Housing…We Need More Jazz
With the holidays in full swing and the New Year approaching, Kevin* reflects on the good that has come to him this past year: “In my 64 years of life, this is the first time I have ever had a secure housing situation. Growing up, there was always this impending doom.”
Kevin first met Miriam’s Kitchen’s Outreach team outside on the steps of a neighborhood church. “Before that, I would sit outside my own house that I got evicted from, just waiting.”
Ger from the Outreach team worked with Kevin to complete a housing assessment, which later led to a housing voucher. To hasten Kevin’s journey off the streets, Ger also advocated to landlords and coordinated care among community partners.
With Ger on his team, Kevin had more hope and wouldn’t accept “no” for an answer. Finally, the combination of Kevin’s resilience and Ger’s advocacy led to a safe, permanent place for Kevin to call home.
Thank you. Supporters like you make our work and housing moments like Kevin’s possible.
Kevin has been in his apartment for nearly a year now and thanks Ger for working with him to move inside. “I don’t even know half of the work Ger did on my behalf, but I’m very grateful and very lucky. I hope I can pay it forward.”
Now Kevin sits in his apartment, looking outside the living room window at the trees and birds chirping nearby. “How did this work out for me when so many people with disabilities are out there?”
Kevin contemplates how he can give back and make sure everyone—with disabilities or without—feels included in society. He continues to volunteer at his church and in the community because he feels more comfortable now that he has a place to sleep, wash-up, and keep his possessions safe.
“There’s this whole bugaboo about mental illness. In society, we want to make sure the symphony plays without a missed note. But I think we need more jazz. More acceptance of people who play their notes in a different way. Everyone deserves to feel connected—to live inside, not outside, of this community.”
We couldn’t agree more.