The Power of Possibility: Elayne’s Story

Can you imagine what it would be like to suddenly find yourself on the streets, without a home, at the age of 90? 

For one of Catholic Charities’ clients, this fear became reality.

Elayne had experienced a full life, previously serving her community as a drug and youth counselor. She also sold real estate and had even acquired her pilot’s license.  Once it was time for retirement, her monthly budget was tight, but manageable until the rising cost of rent forced her to move out of her home at the age of 90. She stayed with family for a while, but eventually ended up living in her van. She was placed on waitlists for affordable housing from Longview to Eugene and from The Dalles to the Coast. Alone and with no hope for a place to call home, she turned to Catholic Charities.

Elayne, lower left, with staff and friends at the 2017 Celebration of Hope

Now at the age of 91, Elayne lives in a permanent home operated by Catholic Charities, with five other senior women, who were formerly homeless. After receiving case management, compassion, and a new community of loving support, she’s thriving as a contributing member of the household and her community. Recently, she even presented to local policymakers on the importance of affordable housing.

“You don’t know how helpless you feel until you’re out there. Finally, Catholic Charities had an opening and I was able to move in…I’ll be able to stay there as long as I want to. I feel so lucky.” – Elayne

Our donors’ past generosity made it possible for Catholic Charities to be there for Elayne and for the thousands of others with stories just like hers.

At Catholic Charities, we invest in the futures of the individuals and families we serve.  Just as we partnered with Elayne, our job is to help our clients out of crisis, equipping them with the tools they need to thrive and helping them build the confidence they need to see the possibilities of the future.

We can’t do this without you. Please consider making a tax-deductible gift to the 2017 Fall Campaign. Your support ensures that Catholic Charities can provide transformative and life-affirming support to those most in need.

Click here to make a gift today!