Vickie grew up in New York and New Jersey; and worked as a crossing guard for over 26 years. “I was really happy, I loved my job, I was married to the love of my life, and I had family close by. Then everything came crashing down, I had already lost both of my parents, and a younger brother, but when I lost my husband, I lost my independence.” Vickie said of her experience, she continued;” I had to leave my home and I had to leave my job, it felt like I just kept losing everything important to me. I guess you could say I have experienced a lot of loss in my life; I know that’s how it felt. I moved to Kentucky to live with another brother and stayed with him about 7 years before I had to go to the shelter in Corbin KY. I stayed at that shelter for about 3 years and when it shut down unexpectedly, I was referred to KCEOC’s Emergency Support Center. There I met my case manager Bonita, and that’s where my life started getting back on track.”
My experience at KCEOC’s Emergency Support Shelter was not like my previous shelter experience, KCEOC’s shelter felt like a home, it was clean, and the people that work there really care about you, and want you to do better. I came to the shelter at the beginning of the pandemic, stayed for about 6 months, working with my case manager to transition to the Continuum of Care Program. During my time with KCEOC, I became more confident, and trusting of others, I received a lot of encouragement and assistance finding my forever home. KCEOC showed me that it was okay to trust people. They believed in me and treated me very well. I had to learn how to trust people again and how to open up so others can get to know me, and that it is ok to ask for help when you need it. KCEOC encouraged me every step of the way and held me accountable, they prepared me for living on my own by teaching me how to budget, and shop for things that I needed, how to get money orders to pay my rent, and they made sure that I had everything I needed to live by myself before I left the shelter. Bonita really worked hard to find me somewhere to live that let me live by myself, but that still had the supportive services I needed. Bonita made sure to go over my lease with me and answered any questions I had so that I understood. I would tell anyone that needs help, to go talk to KCEOC and don’t be afraid they always want to help people. You won’t be judged so don’t be afraid to ask for help. KCEOC only wants to help you be successful. KCEOC really wanted to help me- they did not give up when things got tough and they taught me I didn’t have to give up either!
Losing my husband was my biggest challenge, and learning to live without a loved one was my hardest lesson. It was devastating and I lost confidence that I could ever live by myself, but because of KCEOC, I not only believe I can- I DO! Living by myself, having my own apartment that I furnished by saving my own money is my biggest source of pride!
"Thank you KCEOC, I wouldn't be here without you!"
This project development is being financed in part by the Kentucky Housing Corporation
and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.