There is No Shame Here.
It wasn’t too long ago that Marion was a newcomer here at Good Sam. Just a regular guy, going to work and living life. No one would ever imagine he’d find himself homeless, least of all himself. A few wrong turns on investments and that’s exactly where he found himself. Desperation led to the realization that he needed to make a major life change. That’s when a friend of his told him about Good Samaritan Services. With four ministers in his own family, he found himself drawn to Good Sam because of our basis in our Christian Faith. It made him feel safe.
Staying in Residential Housing
Embarrassment and skepticism followed him as he walked in the door, but as soon as he met Lead Family Resource Coordinator, Rich Baxter, he felt immediately comfortable. The application and entry process went smoothly, and he entered into one of Good Sam’s Transitional Residential Housing properties just a few days after applying. Homelessness comes with a heavy load of complications to wrestle with and overcome, but at Good Sam, we strive to create a safe space to gain stability without any attached stigma.
“Everyone you encounter makes you feel comfortable so it doesn’t make you feel like you’re in the situation you are in. That’s one worry I don’t have to deal with,” described Marion.
In the midst of working towards stability, Marion experienced very heavy loss, all within a short time frame. In January, his younger sister passed away in a tragic accident. “Being the older sibling, I’ve always given direction to other siblings, but I couldn’t function, sleep, or talk without breaking down,” Marion remembers. In the next month, Marion lost two additional family members. Working through the emotions of loss was difficult, but he was able to lean on Good Sam and our partnering churches to find hope in the darkness. Even though he was far from family, he never felt alone.
Through his journey, Marion has utilized many of the resources that Good Sam has to offer our participants. He was able to take advantage of the Match Savings resource and is currently working towards obtaining one of our Microloans. With a microloan, Marion will be able to obtain more reliable transportation so he can get to and from work more efficiently.
On to Affordable
Since he first started, Marion has moved on to our Affordable Housing Residental property. He was one of the first to move into Good Sam’s new property on 214 St. Mary’s Street in Phoenixville, PA! What’s next?
“The end goal is to re-establish myself and to try to reach my full potential. I want to further my education and get a degree. I’m 53 now but it’s not too old. I still have a lot of learning potential. All my kids had college accessible to them. Now I can focus on me and getting where I need to be and keep an eye on retirement.” – Marion
Marion’s Final Thoughts
“When I came in here [Good Sam] first I felt like I was hiding behind a cloak, but now I can stand tall and I’m proud because I would say most people wouldn’t imagine themselves in a situation like this. It’s pushed me and helps me know that I’m going to be okay and make it happen. Keeping the course and keeping my faith and it’s so easy to do that in this place [Good Sam]. The hardest part is that because of some of the bonds we create, giving that up and being away [in independent housing] will be hard. That hardest part of becoming independent will be changing those relationships. I would love to tell my story because if this can help somebody else, then it needs to be told. If people can help me, then I can give love back and help others with my story.” – Marion