2 years ago

From homeless to housed

by Suzy Abdelfarag

Gracen is 60 years old. He has been coming regularly to the Emergency Winter Shelter (EWS) for almost three years now. Throughout the course of his homeless status, in addition to the EWS, Gracen has stayed at Inter-Faith Villa Central Apartments and Inter-Faith Inn, as well as the Union Rescue Mission.

Before requiring assistance from Inter-Faith Ministries, Gracen worked at a military aircraft factory for eight years and had an apartment of his own. However, over the last 15 years, Gracen has repeatedly found himself homeless while struggling with drugs and alcohol. The problem is that whenever he finds housing, he loses motivation. He said he gets enticed by alcohol, drugs and women, ultimately leading him right back to street life.

Gracen recently managed to move into a new apartment after qualifying for a housing program. He will continue to receive case management and oversight in the hopes that this time he will be able to successfully make the transition to supportive housing. After many years of instability, Gracen could not believe he was blessed with another chance to live the life he always wanted, but could never maintain.

He is so thankful for Miss Lee at Inter-Faith Inn for not losing faith in him and sticking by his side whenever he was “stuck.” As blessed as he has been, Gracen believes this could be his last chance for stability and understands that he must take advantage of it and never look back. Gracen said he is thankful for the Emergency Winter Shelter for “keeping him safe and warm” during these challenging times.

                 ~Suzy Abdelfarag is a VISTA fellow with Inter-Faith Ministries. She has been working with staff and residents at the Emergency Winter Shelter and Inter-Faith Inn to assist them in moving forward and to better understand the difficulties of rebuilding lives.

Program Center, 829 N Market, Wichita, KS 67214|(316) 264-9303