Life Stories of Our Guests at PMC
The names are fictitious however the stories are true.
Compiled by Linda Oravecz.
Meet Sandy who came to the attention of PMC from CSS. She is wheelchair bound and is a very brittle diabetic and had been on the streets for two months due to eviction. She was found by a local Catholic church in the picnic area. The church payed for her to go to a motel for two weeks to get out of the cold. When we were called she was being evicted from the motel that day as she had no money to pay. She had found a place to rent but had four days until she could move in. PMC paid for her to continue to live in the motel for these four days and CSS arranged to pick her up, get her to her new apartment and to get her belongings out of storage.
Meet Sara who came to PMC with needs to change her housing. She currently lives in an
attic with no bathroom, the ceiling is falling thru and has bed bugs. She is paying $450 a month for this sub-standard living arrangement. She has a history of mental health issues which makes it difficult for her to try solving this problem. Her only income is her deceased Fathers SSI and $16.00 a month of food stamps. She is on the list for AMHA however this list can be three years long. She also is working with Community Support Services for housing. She is being exploited by the landlord who requires her to pay 1/3 of the utilities as well as cable. She does not have a TV or cable in her attic. We are trying to get her alternative housing however her mental condition makes this a difficult look. Hopefully she soon will be out of this attic and in safe housing. We will continue to work with her on housing.
Meet Joe who came to PMC in a wheelchair due to severe back problems. He has lung disease, is legally blind in one eye, and has cirrhosis, a seizure disease and depression. He recently moved to a new address and in the transition his much needed medicine was lost or stolen. We were able to contact the pharmacy who were willing to override the prescription fill with the insurance company and his medicine would be available the next day as well as setting up a much needed Doctor appointment at 8AM. He was given a bus pass to get to this appointment. In addition, he was given places to go for food and feeding until his Food Stamps come at the first of the month as he had no food.
Meet Bill who came to PMC who became homeless in the last twenty four hours. He has a history of felony and prison time so finding housing for him is very difficult as housing in our area refuse to take felons. We were able to get him hooked up with New Start Ministries who came to PMC to interview him. They will work on helping him get housing and a job.
Meet Anna who came to PMC for feeding of herself, two grandchildren she has custody of and a male significant other. She was covered with bed bug bites that were in her apartment rental as well as the children who also had lice. In addition, her apt had black mold, rats and no running water in the kitchen. We sent her to the Health Department to request an inspection. Her landlord would not make any changes in her environment. She was successful in getting the inspection, the home was condemned and she immediately had to vacate. She had been on the list for AMHA Housing but with a letter from the Health Department to AMHA her waiting status was raised on the list. Fortunately, she had some family to take her and the children until her housing comes through.
Meet Mary who was sitting in the backyard of PMC one morning as the volunteers began to arrive. Upon talking to her she indicated that she had come to Akron on the bus from Cincinnati the evening before to get away from a physically abusive male. She came to Akron as her father lived here only to discover from the neighbors that her father had died three months prior to coming. She was not notified by her family of his death. Her emotional self was shattered. We were able to get her into the Battered Women’s Shelter that day.
Meet Tom who is 36 and became homeless after losing his job and needed to leave his rental as he did not have money to pay his rent. He was having an interview the next day after coming to PMC and did get a part time job working in a grocery store however will remain on the streets until he gets his first pay check which was not going to be forthcoming for a few weeks. He slept at the Haven of Rest for an entitled five days per month otherwise he is sleeping in doorways and eating at feeding places. We were unable to get him immediate transitional housing due to lack of beds for men. We did however give him a sleeping bag which he used in his doorways until he could get a boarding room and a pay check. He was successful in getting his job for 30 hours a week and had identified a boarding room near to his work as he has no transportation as well.
Most of our guests do not have the where with all to solve their problems. They are victims of their troubled lives, mental illness or ability to come out of their poverty state. They come to PMC with dire, complicated needs. We try to listen to them and make every attempt to solve their most immediate needs. Most of these needs are housing, food, and mental and physical health services. We assist in connecting them to the appropriate agency. We also try to build a sense of community for them where PMC is a safe place for them to receive both physical and spiritual support to get them through their days.