Imagine your Grandma on the street....

As I may have mentioned in a previous newsletter, which you can now find on the Chaplaincy website,; our office is located on the Human Services Campus in downtown Phoenix. There are 15 permanent agencies on the campus and the campus itself encompasses 12 acres. All of these agencies collaborate in a combined effort to make homelessness non-existent. This essential collaboration made all the difference this week.

Two lovely ladies visited us this week for services. Now, if you will, I'd like you to imagine your grandma on the streets trying to survive. This is a visual that gives me nightmares. Nell is 67 and Karen is 65. Both lovely ladies are suffering from some mental deficiencies. They are two of the sweetest ladies I have ever met. These visits prompted me to compile some statistics regarding our client base and the ages of the people we assist.

To date we have seen:
Children 0-10: 757
Youth 11-17: 2366
Young Adults 18-35: 4019
Adults 36-54: 8188
Middle age 55-64: 1987
Retirement Age 65+: 636

For the purposes of this particular newsletter I shall concentrate on the last two numbers, which total 2,623. This number is astounding to me! No one should be homeless but I have always been particularly disturbed by the number of homeless persons who are elderly. Six hundred thirty-six people over the age of 65 have passed through our doors. Help us take this number to zero! This number SHOULD be zero!

Nell, who is 67 came to us from Texas. She spends her nights at the Central Arizona Shelter Services (CASS) homeless shelter and her days trying to put her life back together. Nell seems to drift back and forth between Texas and Arizona. She first visited the ECH in 2008. The arrival of her birth certificate enabled her to get her Arizona State ID this week. A fantastic step forward for Nell; with her Arizona ID and her birth certificate she will be housed very shortly.

Karen is 65 and was brought to us by her case manager at Southwest Behavioral Health. She has memory loss due to a brain injury and she was knocked down this week and robbed on the light rail. This poor woman lost everything she had as far as identification is concerned. Fortunately we were able to help her replace her driver's license and she is one step closer to replacing her stolen items and moving beyond homelessness.

The services of the ECH enable people of all ages to move beyond their temporary state of homelessness. Without your continued support Nell and Karen would still be facing obstacles. May your week be filled with all that is good and if you don't mind, say a prayer for our friends down here on the campus. God bless..

Tracy L Geivett, Chaplain's Assistant