Emilio, like many people, lost everything in 2008, including his home. After spending six years as a restaurant manager on a cruise ship, Emilio returned to Seattle with little to his name. Fortunately, Emilio learned about the Congregations for the Homeless Emergency Winter Shelter where he stayed until he was able to enter the Year-Round Shelter program. Looking back, Emilio attributes much of his success to his relationship with his case manager: “He helped me face things from the past that are painful, but you have to get those skeletons out of the close to move forward.” Now, Emilio is a House Manager at one of CFH’s permanent houses, which requires him to take responsibility for the house and to create a sense of community for the men living there. He also works a full-time job at Nintendo.
Eric, another CFH client, is a current resident at the Year-Round Shelter. “I became homeless very suddenly,” he explained. “I never had this problem in my life. I always worked. I owned a condo.” After spending some time in a tent city, Eric knew he needed to find a new place to stay. The Year-Round Shelter was the perfect place for him. He shared, “This is really my spring board here. I started out at tent city over the summer, which is all fine and well, but there’s no resources there, no motivation. It’s just a place to stay, and nobody’s trying to get you work; no one is trying to get you to do anything.” He continued, “Here we have the resources, and the motivation, and the guys here are trying to improve their situation, so I’m surrounded by people who are trying to better themselves instead of people who are content with where they are. It is what you make it, and that’s why I’m really grateful to have this opportunity.”
CFH has been truly blessed by serving men like Emilio and Eric as they continue the mission of helping men move from homelessness to housing and well-being.
BelPres supported ministry Congregations for the Homeless continues to take an active role to end homelessness on the Eastside. This article was featured in the Bellevue It’s Your City publication. Find out ways to serve with Congregations for the Homeless at the Day Center in Downtown Bellevue or the Eastside Winter Shelter by contacting GetConnected.