Story of Hope | Jennifer & Steve

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After retiring from the military, Steve was ready for a new beginning with his wife, Jennifer, and their three children. Unable to find a job in Illinois, where his extended family lived, Steve found a position in Denver. To ease the transition, Steve and Jennifer traveled to Denver with their youngest child, Juliana, while their two boys stayed with their grandmother in Illinois.

Upon arrival in Denver, the job opportunity fell through so Steve directed his attention to Colorado Springs, where he had been stationed in the military. As the weeks went by, the family’s funds dwindled, job opportunities seemed scarce, and Steve, Jennifer, and Juliana found themselves sleeping in their car.  “During that time, we were just lost,” Steve recalled. “The greatest struggle was trying to be strong for Juliana.” They found Catholic Charities’ (CC) Marian House Soup Kitchen where they went for a hot, nutritious meal. Here, they were referred to the Family Day Center, where families receive a multitude of services.

“Coming to the Family Day Center became a part of our daily routine,” Steve said. “Every day the staff was excited to see us, asking for updates, and pointing us in the right direction.  Juliana loved it – it was the best part of her day.” As Juliana stepped into a world of My Little Pony, Play Dough, and LEGO bricks, her parents took turns checking emails and working with staff to find job leads and a place to live.

Over the next month, the family’s proactive attitude, help from local agencies, and the services they received at the Marian House set their journey to stability in motion. CC referred the family to Rocky Mountain Human Services who helped with temporary housing. With housing and food taken care of, Steve was able to direct his attention to finding a job, which he did fairly quickly. Shortly after, the family settled in a more permanent home with housing vouchers from the Veterans Affairs Office. The other children could finally come to Colorado, and the family was finally reunited.

To give the family help while waiting for the first paycheck, CC provided a Family Stabilization Pack, which is given to clients transitioning from temporary to permanent housing. It consists of furniture, food, household goods, and a kitchen starter pack. Although the family is still accessing some assistance, they are well on their way.

“Catholic Charities and Rocky Mountain Human Services helped us so much. We are so grateful,” said Steve.

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