Story of Hope | Tragedy to Triumph

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Rhea was ready for a new start. Her marriage of nine years had ended, and she wanted to get away from the entire environment and situation. She had fallen in love with the beauty of Colorado through books and pictures and began looking for jobs so she could relocate to the area. With anticipation for a new beginning, she left her home state with three suitcases (and not much else) and flew to Colorado.

Before she could start her new job, she tested positive for COVID-19. Her employer covered the testing, but she was unable to start work until she was cleared. She dealt with the illness alone with no medical or family support and a lot of stress about how this might impact her job. She had only been working for about a month when she lost her job. So, there she was, in a place where she had no contacts, family, or friends with an empty apartment, no car, no health insurance, and now no job.

With COVID-19 restrictions it was difficult to meet people or begin making friends. Jobs were much more difficult to find with the pandemic still in full swing. She applied for jobs wherever she could, but nothing came through. With her funds dwindling, she opted not to purchase the required medications or furniture for her apartment. Sitting on the floor eating ramen noodles, she was beginning to feel desperate.

“It was a very dark time for me. I tried reaching out to human service agencies in the area without much luck. I was single and not homeless – yet, so their programs could not offer me any support. I felt hopeless.”

While searching on the internet Rhea found Catholic Charities. She spoke with David Green, Director of Income and Relief services at Catholic Charities Hanifen Center, and he was able to help her with rental assistance and a variety of other services.

David introduced Rhea to Louise, an employment case manager, who provided funds for the medications she needed as well as bus vouchers for transportation, additional rent assistance, and utility payments (through COPE). For the first time since arriving in Colorado, Rhea felt hope. The staff at the Hanifen Employment Center helped Rhea refocus her employment search through job skills training, guidance, and emotional support, walking beside her as she got back on her feet.
Rhea found a great job where she is thriving and making friends. She will have medical insurance, allowing her to purchase her medication, and she is excited to begin exploring the many trails around Colorado Springs.

Transition is usually difficult, but with the support and stability Rhea now has, she is excited to begin her new life in this place she now calls home.

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