Bikes By the Numbers 45: Bicycles Donated37: Homeless men who have earned bikes 17: Bicycles donated to children living in our family apartments17: Bicycles given to SVDP children in April.30: Heavy-duty U-Locks donated by a shelter volunteer35: Pounds lost by one male adult client since he began riding his “new” bike
Download current and past issues here.
Want to receive the print edition of The Good Samaritan each month? Subscribe today!
A new program at our men’s homeless shelter, Ozanam Inn, is not only helping to motivate men – but to keep them mobile as well. Free bicycles are offered as an incentive to men staying at the shelter as a reward for completing certain tasks or working toward goals that help move them toward self-sufficiency….
Thanks to the generosity of St. Vincent de Paul donor Phil Gahm, children who live in our supportive housing programs for formerly homeless families got to enjoy the thrill of watching a Louisville Cardinals men’s basketball game at the KFC Yum! Center recently. Gahm, through his charity the Champ Foundation, donated use ofhis arena suite…
Rickey Saunders is a soft-spoken man who has battled alcoholism for years. “Alcohol has always been a bad problem for me,” says Rickey, 55. “I was a black-out drinker; I would wake up places and not know where I was. I had a hard time quitting.”
An Arkansas native, he was living in Louisville when he became homeless a year ago. He went to Texas and found seasonal work picking oranges. Wandering from Corpus Christi to San Antonio, he slept in the streets or in homeless encampments, shelters and rescue missions.
In Austin, he was given a Greyhound bus ticket to come back to Louisville, eventually landing on the doorstep of St. Vincent dePaul’s Ozanam Inn men’s homeless shelter last July 2. He entered SVDP’s DR (Dormitory Residency) Program, which guaranteed him a bed every night, and gave him the support of SVDP’s case management services.
Vanessa is the first to admit she’s made some serious mistakes. A lifelong addict who “ran the streets,” sold drugs and neglected her son, she served prison time for writing bad checks.
None of that matters much anymore. At 46, Vanessa has peace of mind she’d never known before moving to the campus of St. Vincent de Paul. Last March she was one of the first tenants in SVDP’s new SRO (single-resident occupancy) supportive housing program for homeless single women. The three-story apartment building features 24 private bedrooms and shared common areas, including kitchen, bathrooms and living room.
“It’s a really nice place to be,” Vanessa says. “I like that I have my own room – that it’s mine, that I have a lease, and that I have my own key. There’s quiet time,and everybody respects everybody.”
In the past year since completing a campus expansion, St. Vincent de Paul has welcomed 54 new households into apartments for families and individuals. In an effort to better serve those new and existing clients, staffing changes and two new hires were recently announced.
Cory Bledsoe was named director of programs. On staff since 2008, he had previously served as associate editor of programs and as program manager for Ozanam Inn men’s homeless shelter. “Cory brings a unique blend of business acumen and a deeply personal commitment to serving those in need,” says Ed Wnorowski, SVDP’s executive director.