Barbara has been through a lot. For the past 3 years she’s been roaming the area living out of her car. But that would change for Barbara when she met one of our case managers…
Barbara was happily married with children, sharing a beautiful house with her family. However, unknown to Barbara, she was slowly starting to feel the effects of an undiagnosed mental disability. The effects of her mental disability would lead to relationship stressors between her and her husband and eventually a divorce. After the divorce Barb found herself with her children in a house they were unable to afford on Barb’s social security disability income.
Barbara lost her house and becoming homeless she also lost her children to protective custody. Barb was at a loss. She packed all her belongings in her car and set out to find a way to fix her problems. For 3 years Barb lived out of her car, traveling from city to city. After finding her way to Gillette 4 months ago, Barb wound up at the Council of Community Services.
Barbara initially stopped by the Council for assistance finding food. That’s when one of our case managers noticed her car full of belongings. Barb sat down with our case manager to share a bit of her story. Barbara shared that all she really wanted was to get her kids back, but that she was at a loss.
Our case manager shared with Barb that she would be eligible for our help, but we had to be able to document that she was homeless. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) does not recognize living out of a vehicle as homeless. To document Barb’s homelessness, she would need to check into the homeless shelter.
Barb was reluctant, she didn’t care for sharing her space with strangers and her mental disability wreaked havoc on her ability to trust people she didn’t know. Even though Barb was hesitant, she spent two nights in the homeless shelter.
Behind the scenes our case manager was working with local landlords to find a solution for Barb. Barbara had a modest income, but the complexities of establishing a permanent residence proved to be overwhelming for Barb alone. Our case manager was able to arrange a lowered monthly rent payment for Barb here in town. Through the generosity of a local landlord it seemed that Barb would have a place to live.
Our case manager worked with other local organizations to cover the rental deposit and first month’s rent to get Barb on her feet. When Barb came to meet with our case manager after her second night’s stay in the shelter, she was given the good news. Barb would have a place to call home. A place she could begin rebuilding her life and working towards reuniting with her children. Barbara was so excited to finally have a home again. She expressed her gratitude to our case manager, thanking her repeatedly. Above all, Barb shared she was so excited to have found a place that didn’t judge her and made her feel worthy of help.