We Challenge Poverty, One Family at a Time
a true story about Paulette and Johnny
A toddler named Johnny was abandoned by his mother at our shelter...
His grandmother, Paulette, rushed over to claim him. Determined to raise Johnny herself, she became his legal guardian. “He needed me,” she said.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t long before Paulette had to choose between her job and being a full-time parent to Johnny, who has special health needs.
“I was sitting outside a coffee shop, wondering just what I was going to do,” said Paulette. “I realized Catholic Charities could tell me where to get help. We met, and they offered us a room! I was shocked and scared — I didn’t want Johnny taken away because we were ‘homeless’... but I didn’t want him to sleep in a car, either.”
“They were angels who opened their wings and took us beneath,” Paulette said of our staff.
Both Paulette and Johnny thrived living in our Family Support Center.
Paulette’s counselor helped her apply for financial benefits, hone her job skills, and practice positive parenting skills — after all, it had been decades since she had raised a child!
Johnny blossomed in our programs that meet the special needs of homeless children. His favorite
activity was learning shapes, colors, and numbers on the computers in our children’s Discovery Center.
After just three months, Johnny and Paulette moved into Catholic Charities transitional housing, where they stayed a year, saving money for a car and rent. Johnny was so proud to have his own room and a little patio where his trucks could go “vroom!”
Today Paulette and Johnny are doing well. They have a place of their own, just enough to get by, and Paulette is able to care for him at home, and take him to school, where he is always on the “good behavior list.”
See a :30 second clip of Johnny showing off his “new house”
Evidence shows that Catholic Charities’ shelters help residents like Johnny:
…get regular meals and health care, resulting in improved overall health…
…earn higher test scores, and are more likely to graduate high school…
…are less likely to experience parental abuse or neglect…
Your gift will provide a homeless child with a chance for a successful future, and build a stronger, safer community for all of us.