For many families, circumstances out of their control have landed them in difficult times—losing a job, becoming ill, or just having a hard time paying bills each month. Our staff works hard each day to help these people and provide the resources and hope they need to rebuild their lives.
“A lot of people don’t get it, don’t understand, that when your shelter, your food and your clothing are taken away you can’t succeed at anything until you get that covered. Just those basic needs being met was a blessing, so I could go to work and take care of my kids. Thank you Centerstone.” – Courtney L.
“When Centerstone stepped it, it was a godsend.” – LeRoy G.
“This is a much delayed but nevertheless heartfelt “Thank you!” for approving my application for Energy Assistance. I am so grateful. Your work significantly and positively impacts the lives of all who benefit from the various services of Centerstone.” – Peggy S.
“When I opened the letter saying that I received the grant and my power wasn’t going to be turned off, I was so relieved and touched. Your program really helped me. That’s one thing that’s not weighing on my shoulders anymore.” – Mhkeeba P.
Donna Jo recently got a call from Centerstone that she was eligible for a brand new furnace. “For me, I got so much more than a furnace, I also got hope,” Donna Jo said. “I got the feeling that I’m not alone and can make it back onto my feet. In an economy where so many people are feeling pinched, it means a lot to me to know there are people that still care—they care that you are warm and that you survive.”
Genice was only sixteen when she first learned about Centerstone. It was the summer of 1978. Her family was low on food and her mother came to her and said, “I’m going to get food and I don’t have to pay for it.” More than thirty years later, Genice still depends on Centerstone’s services from time to time. As a single mother with two sons, things haven’t always been easy for her. “I’ve never hesitated to count Centerstone as part of my support system,” Genice said. Some of her family members have taken a job training program at Centerstone, and recently Genice was faced with a $1,400 light bill and an increase in her rent, which she couldn’t pay. She called Centerstone and had a significant amount of her bill paid and she also received rental assistance to keep from being evicted.
Jolene heard about Centerstone’s Energy Assistance Program and immediately scheduled an appointment. During her appointment she found out that she was eligible to receive a LIHEAP grant of $500 to help pay her energy bill. No longer threatened with the power being shut off, Jolene negotiated small payments for the remainder of her power bill. “Centerstone has been a huge help,” Jolene said. “The help goes beyond sending someone to fix the furnace or help pay bills. It really had an effect on my whole life when Centerstone stepped in to assist me.”
A carpenter from the East Coast, Kurt moved to Vancouver, Washington in 2008 to live closer to his daughters and their families. Two days after he arrived, his stomach ruptured unexpectedly. He spent the next four months in the hospital. When he became addicted to the medication that relieved his pain, he lost his home, and was close to losing his family and everything else he loved. Kurt knew he had to turn his life around.
After a year in a treatment center for his addiction, Kurt was referred to us. Centerstone was just the hope that Kurt needed in a time of crisis. Within days, our staff at Centerstone helped Kurt move into transitional housing. Slowly, Kurt began to piece his shattered life back together. “I was amazed at the caring and concern of Centerstone’s staff,” Kurt said, ” I knew one day I wanted to give back to the people that lifted such a great weight off my shoulders.”
Today, Kurt works part-time in Centerstone’s Food Bank. He lives at a nearby mission shelter and has made many friends with the staff at Centerstone. “They are like a support group to me. It’s such a positive place to come to work each day,” Kurt said, “I see people come into the Food Bank and leave with a whole new attitude, a sense of hope.”