It’s been 10 years since Herbert came to Catholic Charities Community Emergency Services in need of prescription assistance, but he still says that his experience was life changing.
Herbert, 54, came to Mansfield from Atlanta, Georgia, in 2004 to visit his sick mother. His weekend visit turned into a permanent stay after Herbert gave his life to Christ and joined a local church.
“I had nothing. I had my own business in Atlanta, and I left everything there,” he said. “I had no job and no transportation.”
Herbert moved into his niece’s basement until he could get settled. While there, Herbert started having medical issues and was in need of prescription assistance. That’s when his niece told him about the Community Emergency Services program at Catholic Charities.
“She knew I needed prescriptions, and I didn’t have any resources,” Herbert said.
The Community Emergency Services program helps families and individuals in Richland and Huron Counties who are struggling to manage finances, pay bills or maintain a stable residence.
“I called Catholic Charities, and they gave me an appointment to come in. I did an interview and took a budgeting course.”
He received financial assistance for his prescriptions through the program.
“Having medical assistance alleviated a lot of stress. I was able to focus on other things like finding a house and getting a job.”
But it wasn’t just the financial assistance that helped Herbert while he was in need. The time and care of staff made an impact on him.
“It’s difficult sometimes to ask for help. The staff at Catholic Charities treated me with love and kindness, and it gave me a desire to help others. It helped me to get past the fact that I needed assistance.”
Today, Herbert is a case manager and program director at Family Life Counseling where he goes to local schools and works with at-risk youth. He is actively involved with his church and several other community organizations.
“The giving spirit of Catholic Charities’ staff was a seed that produced a much greater harvest. I now refer some of the people I help to Catholic Charities for food, housing and other services.”
“I think sometimes people give to Catholic Charities and really don’t see the fruits of it, but many lives are touched. Their gifts continue to give. By helping me, I am able to help others.”
Joyce, a retired Erie County resident, lived on a farm with a four-bedroom home. She claimed the house was big enough to fit a party of 100 people in the basement. But she lost it all when perpetrators of an international money scam contacted Joyce and financially exploited her for several years.
“Joyce lost her home, farm and hundreds of thousands of dollars as a result of being scammed,” said Carol Wheeler, Adult Advocacy program coordinator.
In the United States, one in 20 seniors experience some form of financial victimization with only one in 44 cases of financial abuse reported, according to the National Adult Protective Services Association. Fifty-one percent of elder financial abuse is committed by a stranger to the victim.
Catholic Charities provides Payee Services to help protect seniors from scams and misuse of funds by people whom the victims trust. We manage accounts and bill payments to protect elders from financial exploitation in Richland, Erie, Huron, Ottawa and Lucas Counties. Seniors and out-of-state family members are able to have peace of mind knowing their finances are protected.
In 2012, Joyce’s son contacted Catholic Charities to arrange for help manage her finances and advocate for Joyce’s daily needs.
Since using Catholic Charities’ services, Joyce has been able to enjoy life debt free and experience new opportunities. She now lives in an independent senior citizens residential facility in Sandusky where she socializes with new friends, attends Mass at St. Mary’s Catholic Church and enjoys the amenities available in her new neighborhood.
“I’ve been here for about two years, and I like it here a lot,” said Joyce happily. “Down the street, there is a flea market, and they have all kinds of things available for senior people.”
Joyce was selected to represent Catholic Charities at the installation Mass for Bishop Daniel E. Thomas this past October.
“The Bishop was very nice, and I told him that I was honored to meet him,” Joyce said.
She thanks Carol and Catholic Charities for allowing her to take part in the occasion and helping her maintain her day-to-day life.
“Catholic Charities has helped me pay my bills, get my glasses and set up doctor’s appointments,” Joyce said. “If I have a problem, I call Carol. She’s always ready to help.”
Thanks to your support, Joyce is financially secure and free from worry of becoming a target of scams again.