There’s No Place Like Home
Beth’s daughter Macy was born with undiagnosed Hirschsprung Disease—a defect in which the large intestine doesn’t work properly. When Macy was 15 years old, the issue had progressed to the point she needed surgery to have part of her intestines removed, and she was in the hospital for an extended period of time. Even though Beth had a good job as a nursing home aid, between medical bills and time spent away from her job to be with her daughter in the hospital, she ended up jobless and then homeless. When Macy was finally able to leave the hospital, Beth and Macy found friends to stay with, where they shared a twin bed. But there wasn’t room for Macy’s brother, so—on top of all her other frustrations—Beth was heartbroken at having to split up her family and find a different place for her son to stay.
Beth was torn. She knew she needed to find a job and a home for her family, but Macy still needed significant help to function in daily life. Beth couldn’t rely on her friends forever, and she needed to get her family back together. But she didn’t know where to start.
When Beth was referred to Catholic Social Services’ (CSS) Home Choice program, she was grateful—not just for the financial assistance, but also for the emotional support and advocacy her case manager provided her. Through this program, CSS’ case managers help families and individuals prepare and transition back into their homes following nursing home or prolonged hospital stays. CSS’ Home Choice case managers ensure families have smooth transitions to their new normal by helping them access affordable, permanent housing, furnishings, care items, transportation, and other necessities.
Over the course of Macy’s surgery and recovery period, Beth had built up a $4,300 utility bill that prevented her from being able to receive future utility assistance. Beth’s case manager connected her to a one-time Gift of Kindness from The Columbus Foundation, which caught her up on past bills.
Beth, with the support of her case manager, worked hard to get a job, to purchase a car (she had lost hers during Macy’s illness), and to become sustainable. She was able to move into an affordable apartment that was big enough for her to reunite with her son. Macy is back in school, where she is a standout student, and is on her way back to health. She’s even planning to join the track team!
Beth is a hard-working mom who would do anything for her children, and without CSS and Home Choice, she might have fallen through the cracks in the system into long-term homelessness.