IT TAKES A VILLAGE
(all photos by Caroline Corrigan)
Ann Gomes, a former Assistant Manager at Eve’s house has successfully walked away from homelessness this past year. She lived with us for over a year and during that time she gave of herself generously to other residents transitioning away from homelessness. Ann, having worked in the Cape Cod community, is a wealth of information on resources whether it be Massachusetts Rehabilitation, Career Resources, Department of Transitional Assistance or Housing Assistance Corporation. She shared her knowledge to all of our residents who needed these extra protective resources in order to establish themselves again. She also drove many residents to any necessary appointments they had right up until her car no longer worked.
What we didn’t know about Ann is that she is also an unbelievable writer. She humbly showed us her gift when she began to write in the writing group established by Nancy Woodside, a board member and Caroline Corrigan, our office and house manager. Her work was published in the book “Sea Glass” that came out of that writing group. Ann’s words are now forever part of the Library of Congress.
Ann moved on to get her own housing where her many children and grandchildren spend weekends with her. She also discovered the internship program for people over fifty five and is now working at Elder Services in Dennis. Because of her exposure to the world of homelessness and the many factors that lead to that situation, Ann sought out other ways to help this population. Today, she is enrolled in Cape Cod Community college in the alcohol/addiction counselor program and is a board member for Homeless Not Hopeless. We celebrate Ann, her empowering influence, her knowledge and her strength. She is a gift to us all.
Congratulations to Terri Vieira, former assistant manager of Eve’s house who has walked away from homelessness and separation from her autistic son on August 1, 2015. With the hard work of Capabilities, Department of Development Services, the Council of Churches and Homeless Not Hopeless, Terri and her son Jordan now have a home in West Yarmouth. Terri came to us in early December of 2014. Caroline, our Eve house manager picked up Terri in a local hotel and brought her to Eve’s house and her journey began. Shortly after Terri arrived she got a job at Dunkin Donuts and signed up with a GED tutor that we provide through volunteers.
Terri began to blossom and her hope began to shine. We picked up her son every Sunday at his temporary residence in Cotuit. He came to Eve’s house for the day and spent Sunday dinner with us. It was an event for all of us. Her son Jordan had all the women singing his favorite songs from Sesame Street to the Lion King. The women of Eve’s house came to learn a lot from Terri. She showed them all how to love a child unconditionally and never give up. She exhibited to them how to have patience with a son who had a disability and she revealed to them her secret recipe for Kale soup. Although her struggle to leave homelessness behind was difficult, she gave many gifts to other women with her presence. She showed us all what working can do for your self-esteem no matter what the job is.
Terri and Jordan reside in West Yarmouth now in a lovely home. She is hoping to have a house warming party for all the people she encountered on her journey when she gets settled in. We look forward to celebrating the beginning of her new life.
Without a skill and the ability to overcome the large gap that lies between wages and the cost of housing on Cape Cod, people will never complete the walk away from homelessness that is necessary to have a decent living. Thank God for transitional housing like Homeless Not Hopeless.” Cindy H. (Eve’s house)
Robert Lynds, a long-term resident of Faith house has been operating behind the scenes as a Director for the Hearts for the Homeless television show airing several times a week on channel 99. Several years ago, Robert learned how to use cameras, lighting, audio equipment and the technical board at the urging of Alan Burt, a longtime advocate and co-founder of Homeless Not Hopeless. Hearts for the Homeless is a television show produced by Homeless Not Hopeless and was started by Billy Bishop and Alan Burt.
This past June at the annual meeting of Cape Cod Media Center in Dennis, Robert was presented with the Spirit of the Community Award for access television. His aptitude with directing a T.V. camera, his editing and angling caught someone’s attention. Bob remains humble in discussing his talent, but we are hoping he will sign his autograph for us on his way to Hollywood!
NEW HOUSE MANAGER
We know that God works through people and every once in a while we are sent a messenger. In June of this year God sent us Darrell Gray, a longtime advocate of the homeless, having been homeless himself. Darrell Gray arrived just in time to say goodbye to his close friend ,Alan Philips, the former manager of Faith House. Alan died this summer of COPD having left behind a legacy of helping the homeless and directing them to the road of sobriety. Alan and Darrell both took the long walk away from homelessness together, a bond of survival that one does not forget. As a result of this, Darrell ‘s resilience and message has a profound effect on all who know him. He has a great sense of humor and keeps us all laughing while he serves as a power of example to the other men. His strong faith, sense of integrity and morality are a lesson to us all. Darrell is loved by the residents of Faith House and by the HNH community at large. We are grateful to have him!