Tonya is a delightful lady camping by the river near our town. Throughout the chill of the winter months, with little resources, Tonya and her friend built an elaborate and well thought out encampment to stave off the bitter cold of the winter. Treed areas near rivers or other secluded areas around town were the closest thing to a home Tonya had to “make it” in her life.
She smiles and laughs warmly whenever she visits our Emergency Assistance Center (EAC). She knows she can come in from the cold, get food, and discuss her needs. Area agencies were unable to assist Tonya with housing because she had no income to continue rent payments. However, the good news is that Tonya has finished her Section 8 and transitional housing applications and is waiting for approvals.
During a recent meeting Tonya shared with her Catholic Charities’ case manager that she would like to have new contacts. She explained that she had only a single contact from which to see which she had worn uninterrupted for nearly a year. Our case manager contacted a nearby optometrist and explained the urgency of the situation. In minutes Tonya had an appointment scheduled for the next day. By the end of her appointment glasses were ordered and the doctor provided Tonya with a pair of temporary contacts to get her through until her glasses arrived.
The appreciation, the happiness, and the hopefulness on Tonya’s face the next time our case manager saw her was invaluable and genuine. There is much yet to accomplish with Tonya, but imagine the hope that being able to see clearly, that having a critical need identified, and having the support to immediately address the need instills in Tonya.