Last month, a gentleman walked through our doors to make a payment on his loan provided through our Housing Security Deposit Program, and it took me a moment before I recognized him…
He had come to us mid-Winter. He had lost his housing and stayed in a hotel until the money ran out and was forced to spend the previous night in his car in below-freezing temperatures. Work was slow, so he was temporarily laid off until work was scheduled to pick up again a few weeks later. We connected him to food resources such as our Food For Good food rescue program, the Teton Valley Food Pantry, and the Seniors West of the Tetons lunches. We provided him with temporary shelter using our Quality of Life funds and went to work researching long-term housing options. By the next day, we had found him a new living situation, using Quality of Life funds and the HSDP loan to cover the move-in costs.
Fast forward to last month, when he walked into our office. I didn’t recognize him right away because he stood taller, looked significantly younger, and smiled much brighter. He reported on his current circumstances: work is great – he’s keeping busy; the housing situation is still working out; he will be able to pay off his HSDP loan earlier than planned; life is good.
This story is emblematic of the transformation that can occur in people’s lives if they are simply seen, have a place to turn to, and are given a helping hand. It took our case management staff to listen to his story and his immediate needs, to put in the hours to research potential rentals, to advocate for him with potential landlords, and work out the logistics. The Tin Cup Challenge helps us to be able to pay for that staff. It took our Quality of Life funds to pay for secure and safe temporary shelter until we could find long-term housing and pay a portion of 1st month’s rent. The Tin Cup Challenge helps us to be able to provide emergency financial assistance to community members in times of crisis. Simply put, the Tin Cup Challenge is a vital source of funds that enable us to do the work we do to uplift, empower and assist the very people that make this community so special.