Hope for the Homeless - Sandusky Register
SANDUSKY, Ohio (February 2, 2021)
By Andy Ouriel, Sandusky Register
The pandemic took almost everything away from Kathleen Shafer.
“I had gotten into drugs really bad and lost my job,” Shafer said. “I was not taking care of my home and not paying the bills. So I ended up here.”
Right around that time, in October 2020, Shafer checked herself into Crossroads Homeless Shelter on Sandusky’s west end, where she's still living.
And, from Day 1, Shafer began prospering even amid a world health crisis, knowing she needed to make a drastic life change for herself.
She’s active in Crossroads’ kitchen, preparing and serving meals for residents. And she does so with a smile on her face and enthusiasm in her voice.
“This is my home, and the people here are my family,” said Shafer, a Sandusky resident, who’s remained sober for three months and continues looking for a long-term home outside of Crossroads.
“The pandemic has taken a toll on me, but I’m trying to improve myself and involve myself in things — and that has been the best support system for me.”
Many can identify, or at least sympathize, with Shafer’s story, as fallout from COVID-19 has caused seismic changes in some locals' lives.
Among those people who can understand include Martha Quick.
Quick, who stayed at Crossroads in 2008 due to her own homelessness issue, began working as a shelter receptionist in August.
She’s often the first face many in need of housing see when walking into Crossroads.
“There’s definitely a need for housing right now,” Quick said. “People have been coming in, concerned about it, wanting to know that they have a safe place to stay.”
Quick, because she’s experienced homelessness herself, knows the burdens better than most.
And, with the added anxieties brought on by COVID-19, she and her colleagues remain more committed than ever in assisting those who need a place to stay.
Being homeless “is stressful enough. But now (with the pandemic), there are even more stressors,” Quick said. “So here, at Crossroads, we try to be empathetic to everyone because the people who come here are good people and just need some help.”
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Story written by Andy Ouriel for the Sandusky Register.