Stories of Hope from Miriam House Clients

Tiffany and children

As Tiffany and her two sons, Lorenzo and Josiah, sat and played in the Miriam House living room, there was no question this place was once home. Now the family lives in their own home, but they still come back to visit the place that gave them new hope. Tiffany and her four children moved to Miriam House in spring 2013 after she and her husband separated. “My husband and I bought a house in New Mexico together, and it didn’t work out between us,” Tiffany said. “My children and I stayed with my in-laws before we came back to Ohio to stay with my family. But when I got back to... Read more

The rooms at Miriam House were not unfamiliar to Ashley, a current resident. Ashley lived at Miriam House once before when hard times had hit the single mother of three in 2006. It was a minor bump in the road, and Miriam House was a place to regain stability. “I graduated from the housing program a year later, and I moved into an apartment here in Norwalk. I lived there for seven years.” Things were going well for Ashley and her family, but then her life started to spin out of control, fast. “I got involved with the wrong people. Drugs and alcohol. My life was a very fast... Read more


For Angie, Catholic Charities’ Miriam House in Norwalk was a chance to get her life together. “My whole life did a 180 because of everyone there.” Angie now works as a legal assistant and loves her job. But it was quite a struggle to get to where she is now. Everything Was Going Wrong Angie lost her job after taking time off due to illness. Without income,she lost her car too. All of the stress made it even more difficult to find a job. One thing after another was going wrong for Angie. She spent half a year moving from place to place until a friend told her about Miriam... Read more


Bonita’s family lost everything. In 2009, Bonita’s world was rocked.  Her son, Elijah, who had been having headaches, was diagnosed with a brain tumor.  That’s when things started unraveling. She and her three children had been living in the Cleveland area in a house owned by her father.  But when her dad had a stroke, he was unable to work and eventually was forced to declare bankruptcy. And Bonita couldn’t support the family by herself.  Since she couldn’t make their car payment and their rent and their health insurance premium, they lost... Read more

Her little son, Cayden, is sitting in a high chair, looking like Calvin from the comic strip, Calvin and Hobbes.  Under his mother’s watchful eye, he is feeding himself haltingly with a spoon. It is the thirtieth day since Cayden and his mother came to Miriam House, Catholic Charities’ emergency center for mothers and children in Norwalk. “I think he’s very bright,” his mother, Lindsay, says, obviously proud.  “He wants to do everything by himself.  He repeats everything.” With her big eyes and her sweet smile, Lindsay herself looks like a young... Read more

It’s hard to get the whole story because Katie Barnes is so modest, so unassuming, about the good work she does. “I don’t do anything so special,” she says, “There are a lot of other people – a lot of other people – who help. There are a lot of generous people here in Norwalk.” And that’s certainly true. And now, thanks to Katie Barnes, all those generous people know who they can give their cash donations to, and their bake sale proceeds, and the clothing their kids outgrow – all the while knowing that their charity is going where it can do the most... Read more

Ashley, a young mother, is playing airplane with her little boy in the cheerful, well-swept living room of a house on a shady street in near-downtown Norwalk.  She’s understandably proud as she introduces her son. “This is Vega,” she says.  “Like the star.” The place is Miriam House, a transitional shelter for homeless women and their young children, including, since August, Ashley and Vega.  Ashley was raised in the Southwest, in a family that was so chaotic her mother didn’t even try to enroll her in high school until Ashley was 18.  So it’s no surprise that raising... Read more


"I don't know what we'd be doing now if we hadn't come here. I'm just so, so grateful to everyone here. They made the transition so easy for us. They were so welcoming. This isn't like a shelter, it's a home. I have peace of mind now. God is in this place." - Bonita, Miriam House resident

Our Mission

Catholic Charities makes real the love God has for each individual regardless of faith or background, by serving the poor, speaking for and assisting the neglected and forgotten, respecting and promoting life from beginning to end, and nurturing and supporting individuals and families.

Catholic Charities Northwest Ohio