Sara doesn’t take home for granted. Since its opening in 2010, Sara has lived in CHP’s Merton House, a 22-unit supportive housing community located in the Hollow neighborhood of Bridgeport.
“I was homeless when I came here,” she explains. “Not everybody can afford to have a house or pay rent.” She describes the difficulties of those days: living in shelters and staying with her mother, working two jobs, not sleeping well and suffering from depression.
“When they told me they were going to give me the apartment, I couldn’t believe it,” Sara recalls. “When I walked in the apartment I started crying I couldn’t believe I was going to finally have a stable place for my daughters and myself.”
Having nothing but clothes when they arrived, Sara’s gratitude for a home included the extra blessings of furniture in the apartment and the support provided by the onsite case managers from Catholic Charities, CHP”s partner at Merton House and one of the largest private social service providers in Connecticut.
“They help you with information about jobs, schools, they can give you a referral. They pretty much help you with almost anything,” effused Sara. Their assistance was particularly important to Sara when she first arrives, as they helped her navigate the process of getting her driver’s license and GED.
“This is a blessing. A little push-up to help you achieve your dreams” For Sara, these dreams include pursuing a career in nursing and buying a house, and she’s motivated to give her daughters — ages 13, 11 and 9 months — a great future.
In the meantime, Sara remains actively involved in the community she loves – advocating to keep it clean, safe and livable for all. Her diligence earned her CHP’s Spirit Award.