Catholic Charities is like a supportive family ready to lend a helping hand.Jennifer R., mom of 4–year–old and 3–year–old boys, recalls the challenges she overcame in 2017 when she faced homelessness and came to Samaritan House for help. Years later, she is comfortable in her own apartment and expressed gratitude for the ongoing support she and her children have received. It all was possible because of a myriad of supportive programs from Catholic Charities.
“They would have things available for me and were really, really supportive,” she said about receiving baby supplies from Gabriel House Project in Denver amid the COVID–19 pandemic. “I felt like I had my own personal family waiting there for me.”
Families like Jennifer R. and her children can access multiple services through Catholic Charities of Denver’s network. Programs span from material to emotional and spiritual assistance, including shelter, affordable housing, baby and maternity supplies, a food bank, medical care, counseling, moms support groups, spiritual guidance and more. Compassionate staff, who are trained in trauma–informed care practices, meet families where they are and also assist with accessing additional outside resources to help them rebuild a life.
Jennifer R. began with shelter on the family floor at Samaritan House in Denver and was referred to the Childhood Development Center for assistance with her boys’ education. She was also connected to Catholic Charities’ Gabriel House Project, a resource for low-income families in need of diapers, baby supplies, clothing and support.
Today, Jennifer R. proudly states she purchased a car and has plans to start school again in the fall.
“In the meantime, I’m taking online courses to start my own cleaning business,” Jennifer R. shares.
Another mother, also named Jennifer, returned to Marisol Homes in Lakewood last month to complete an internship as part of her college studies. In 2018, she fled an unstable home situation, she said, and found herself experiencing homelessness. Marisol Homes, a Catholic Charities ministry for single mothers and their children, provided her and her young son with comfortable shelter, life skills classes, and emotional and material support to rebuild a life together.
Now Jennifer is completing studies for social work. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and is pursuing a master’s degree at Metro State University. Her goal is to help others in need. Jennifer’s case manager at the time had challenged her to complete high school and consider college. In May 2018, Marisol Homes “made a big impression on my life,” Jennifer said. “I left with self-esteem, responsibility and an education. They supported me in everything. I’m very blessed to have been at Marisol.”
She is grateful for Catholic Charities’ support and the recent opportunity she had to help other mothers who are rebuilding a life like she once did at Marisol Homes.
“She is so fantastic,” said Marisol Velez, director of Marisol Homes. “I am so touched by where she is in her journey.”