My name is Jim and this is my hope story. I arrived at Shalom House with my fair share of challenges. Middle aged and with a less-than-capable body, my ability to pursue the labor-intensive jobs of my youth was limited. Compounding things further, I have a criminal history which rendered most other employment opportunities impossible.

I have serious health issues to consider as well. A survivor of stroke, I still had seizures and had to take medication.

After about two months at Shalom House, my father died and I hit a downward spiral. I dutifully handled my father’s affairs, but this loss derailed any sense of momentum or progress I had made.

Thankfully, I was receiving support from The Wyandot Center, and among their services I was able to participate in the Vulnerability Assessment Tool (VAT)*, which placed me on a housing list according to my need and vulnerability.

I benefited from this system mightily. Within a few months, I was on a housing list and two weeks ago I moved into my own fully furnished apartment! My apartment’s rent is income-based, so I’m able to look for a job without fear of eviction. I have my second interview for a job next week. With Catholic Charities help and the hope I now have, I went from survival mode to “I can thrive” mode.

*The VAT is an integral part of Kansas City’s Coordinated Entry Project, a city-wide, multi-agency system where real-time needs are met with real-time resources and services. Catholic Charities is excited to be a part of this project.