Nobody can describe the difference we make in the community quite like our clients. They encourage each other, the Center’s staff, and volunteers with their success stories. We are thrilled to share some of our favorites!
“ [The] Hospitality [center] has given me the opportunity to successfully reintegrate back into society. Having spent 3 decades in mental hospitals and prison, I was quite frankly a broken man. I grew up on the streets of Philadelphia [where] addiction, abuse, violence, and chaos were everyday occurrences that warped my perception of the world. I was convinced society placed more emphasis on recycling garbage than human beings. [The] Hospitality [center] gave me hope to put the shattered pieces of my life back together. More importantly, they patiently and lovingly showed me the way by encouraging, advising, and directing me to welfare, social security, legal aid, food kitchens, and food pantries. I was homeless. [The] Hospitality [center] gave me clothes to wear, food to eat, [and] a place to wash. They gave me back my life and self-worth. Through [the center’s] generosity, I acquired a place to live, clothes to wear, welfare, S.S.I., a free Obama phone, and the love and dignity I need to continue down this road of redemption and rehabilitation.”
Sharon came to the Hospitality Center in 2012, homeless, and with a long history of addiction. Susan Giancola our case manager, worked with Sharon to address her mental health needs, housing needs and other basic needs of food, daytime shelter and clothing. Sharon was temporarily housed in a shelter and started receiving mental health treatment through a referral made by her case manager here. Sharon came to the Center regularly seeking emotional support during this time. She utilized our computer services at the Center and was able to create a resume and apply for jobs online. She got called to an interview at Giant’s and has been working there since early November 2016. Sharon is also on Methadone maintenance and is progressing well.
Brittany (name changed for anonymity) has been a client at the Center for over 3 years battling with homelessness, drug, alcohol, and mental health issues. Brittany required intense case management and counseling. After 25 recorded contacts between her case manager at the Center and other agencies including health services, housing resources, pharmacy, mental health services, children and youth services, Brittany and her boyfriend have their own apartment. They have enrolled in Intense Outpatient Parenting classes, as well as therapy for drug and alcohol abuse. We also obtained various baby and household items through the Mitzvah Circle Foundation. After a short labor, the beautiful and healthy baby boy was allowed to go home with his mom under close supervision of Children & Youth services. Brittany is grateful for her second chance, and shared that if there was ever a reason to stay clean, it is this newborn. She just wants to be a good mom.
The Hospitality Center has helped me in more ways than you can imagine, and has never turned me down, and if they
The Hospitality Center has helped me in more ways than you can imagine, and has never turned me down, and if they didn’t have the answer, they can point you in the right direction.
You will never starve. You are never cold or hot, always comfortable. You can talk to just about anybody. They go above and beyond to help.
I come to the Hospitality Center for devotions. They have helped me get off the street, find a home, and a job, and friends. I still come to show my thanks for what they have done for me. The Center helps more than anyone else.
I was homeless. I stayed in a shelter, and the next morning they told me to go to the Hospitality Center. I came to the Center the first time and it was scary because of all the new faces. I never was homeless before. But when I came to the Center I found the place was filled with so much love and joy. The staff is so open hearted. They fed my 6-month-old son and me. They gave me clothes, and toys for my baby.
They made me feel like family. I came everyday, and I listened to the word to start my day off good. Then there were times that I came back and they helped me find housing and helped me with Christmas and Thanksgiving and jobs. This place is a blessing from God.
They are more family to me than my own family. The Hospitality Center is family when you have or when you don’t have. They are always making a way when you feel there is no way. They are my loving, sweet, warm family.
If there is one thing that a person who has received selfless help from another can do to show their appreciation, it would simply be that – to show your appreciation. When I first came to Norristown in July of 2010 I had absolutely nothing besides clothes and a few other possessions. I recently had suffered a silent depression (one where a person does not know they are depressed) and I lost everything I owned; my house, my car, my job, my belongings, even some family and friends. I had no driver’s license, social security card, birth certificate – NOTHING!
I came to Norristown to stay with my sister and clear my head. Although I had always been an optimistic person all my life, during this difficult time my optimism was beginning to wane.
My sister introduced me to the Hospitality Center so I could use their mailing address as my own. Not only was I now able to stay in contact with important things that mattered I also began to go every morning to take advantage of their free, delicious, and healthy breakfasts. I knew that if I wanted to stay alert throughout the day and not lose sight of my goals I had to maintain my own energy flow.
After breakfast I would allow my spirit to be fed during devotion time where a staff member would talk about the word of God. I found these moments to be especially helpful as it seemed the speaker was always dead on point in addressing an internal issue I myself was just confronted with.
I read every single piece of paper the Center passed out. One was a directory of all the major businesses and government agencies in Norristown. I walked everywhere I needed to go. I got my S.S. card, and renewed my drivers license; the Center paid for my Birth Certificate and gladly sent it off for me, stamp included! I was given a Library Card via the Hospitality Center where I could use the computer to look for work. Just like a compound effect, one marvelous thing after another was happening.
In addition, random people that frequented the Hospitality Center became a source of inspiration to me. I realized I was either learning what to do or what not to do. In the face of adversity I made it my business to develop as much inner resiliency as possible to carry me through. The more I stayed open the more privy I was to hearing just the right conversation, making just the right contact, always moving in the right direction.
A woman who was also going to the Center mentioned she was getting her GED. She told me where she was going. I went the next day and two months later I got my Diploma. We just recently had a graduation and it was a very proud moment for me to look out and see my family smiling at me full of pride. Despite the difficulties of the previous months in that moment I did not feel alone. I credit the Hospitality Center for being the connecting piece that it is. It is a Center that is truly stabilizing.
I now do tons of volunteer work for REDI, teaching computer classes and tutoring others to get their GED. I am a certified volunteer tax preparer for CADCOM. I am an Independent Representative for CAN and I am still building my own business as a Freelance Writer/Hostess.
Thank you Norristown Hospitality Center for being an amazing connecting piece in my life.