Homelessness addressed at lunch program

Candida Wiltshire and Linda Garcia

A number of workers have been homeless during this bitter winter. When there is little regular work, it is not possible for them to save enough during the warm months to pay rent when work disappears. Unfortunately, too often alcohol may seem the only recourse.

On Monday, February 22, the Program Director and a staff member of the PATH PROGRAM visited our lunch program. PATH (Project for Assistance in Transition from Homeless) is an outreach-based case management program serving mentally ill homeless in Bergen County. The program links homeless people with services, and provides transportation to appointments.

Day workers have an extremely hard time finding help. Our social services coordinator, Angelica, met with Candida and Linda, and was able to introduce some of the workers to them privately. CoFiA hopes to develop a plan with programs like PATH so that the terrible experiences of this winter will be avoided in the future. Although many Leonians responded generously to our call for donations of blankets and sleeping bags, we all know this is a risky solution to the need when the temperature falls to zero. And we also know that conditions must be truly disastrous in their home countries when people prefer to take their chances here than to stay there.

Thanks so much to Candida and Linda for your visit!

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