These are just a few of the people Orion is supporting. Everything may not always end as originally imagined, but as good neighbors we will be there using our resources to support their efforts.
- It was hard to believe that anyone would be evicted the day a two foot snow is predicted. Yet there they were, inside Orion’s door… a young couple with three adorable little children in need of emergency housing. The immediate need was met by them staying at Code Blue Ministry of Phoenixville for the weekend. The next week, Orion and our wonderful partner organizations helped them with a variety of issues including returning them to their home. As their lives became more stable, the couple took turns volunteering at the Code Blue Ministry overnight. It was heartwarming to see them give back to others who found themselves homeless.
Three weeks after the shelter closed for the season, the young mom sent Orion an email…
“I know it’s 5am but I can’t sleep thinking about how to give back to you guys for what you gave my family. Hope, faith and our home. If you ever need any help please don’t hesitate to email me or my fiancé … Here to help whenever necessary…” Thanks to everyone who helped this young family during a cold, snowy week.
- A young man was just out of prison went with his ‘home plan’ but his contact was already drunk that day. So the young man wandered 24 hour stores through the night knowing that if he slept on the streets and the police found him, he could very likely end up back in prison. At 9am the next morning, he showed up at Orion’s door. We partnered with local agencies and secured housing, food and a job. After several weeks of steady employment and respectful interactions, he reconnected with his family. He regularly visits Orion to keep us posted on all he is doing to keep his life on track. After five months he told us he had been promoted and said, “I can’t get this smile off my face! Thank you.”
- A mom had a stroke. Two months later her husband had a heart attack. She was able to return to her retail job but the loss of his income was a big hit to the family budget. They hadn’t reached out to support agencies for fear someone would take their children. The couple came to Orion after they were evicted and living under a bridge. We coordinated with a variety of agencies and brought Youth and Child Services to our office so the parents could hear that the collective goal was to keep the family together. We secured housing, food and mental health services for the family to deal with the stress from health issues, job loss, eviction and working to keep their family together. They are moving forward with their lives together.
- A young couple came to Orion, they had recently moved to Phoenixville because the town they were from was in serious decline and they could not find work. He had a new job lined up for the following week and she had several promising job leads. However they had no money for another week’s rent and hadn’t eaten for several days. New to the area, they did not know about the local food pantries or free lunch programs. We gave them directions and, while they took care of getting a meal and collecting food staples, Orion contacted partner agencies to create a short term housing plan. When the couple returned we were able to inform them that their housing had been paid for and provided a gift card to a local grocery store. We also gave them two movie tickets that had been provided by the local theater. They broke down in tears. Two weeks later they stopped back to say they were both working and had a new apartment of their own.
- A man came to Orion and asked for one bus token. We asked why he needed only one token and he said he needed to get to work and pick up his paycheck but he didn’t have any money. We offered him two tokens so he could return home. He assured us that he only needed one because once he had his paycheck, he could purchase the second bus token himself.