A gentleman of 79 years came to Our Place. He worked in an asbestos mine, when publicized asbestos was toxic, he not only lost his job, but became ill with asbestos poisoning. He eventually received a sum from a general asbestos fund but by that time had developed Asbestos related symptoms which took his settlement, plus more leaving him homeless. The treatment left him disabled and learning to live on the streets.
With many years of homelessness and homes being taken due to “community progress” …he hitchhiked his way to Helena with the thought there must be more services in the State Capitol. He spent the first thirty days in Helena trying to find housing but was unsuccessful, he remained homeless in a shelter or on the streets. He was referred to us by Purview and the homeless shelter finding his way to Our Place. Staff at Our Place completed the standard housing intake with him, including a Permanent Supportive Housing application in hopes of receiving a housing voucher. The sad truth is, however, that the waiting list for these programs can take 1-2 years before someone is accepted and that is assuming once they are accepted into the program they can find a house that takes a voucher.
That same day we made several phone calls without success, but we refused to accept defeat! He needed a clean place because of his medical condition. Can you imagine being ill and homeless? One of our other clients suggested an apartment complex with openings, we called it just in case there might be an opening. After repeated attempts to reach the company on the phone, we decided to take the gentleman up there in person.
Sometimes life is all about timing, luck, or a candle in the wind from someone giving back. When we walked into the building the regional manager was there. She gave us an application at which we filled out together. We turned it in and miraculously the manager was so impressed with him, she approved him on the spot. He moves in three days from now!
Everyone deserves a home of their own!!!