Trinity Out-Reach Center of Hope

Counting the Days: The Story of A Local Homeless Man

October 12th, 2013 was a day Mr. Smith would rather not remember.

Before this date, he had a normal life: a place to live, a job with Clayton homes, with whom he had worked for a couple of years, and joint custody of his eight year old son. Unfortunately, October 12th had another plan for him. He was in a car accident–which caused him traumatic brain injury, several wounds and lacerations all over his body, and severe damage to his leg.

He was discharged from the hospital two months after the accident. Needing help to care for his wounds, he was forced to move in with his girlfriend. As circumstance would have it, the situation became too much for the two of them. Mr. Smith was forced out onto the streets. After countless phone calls begging and pleading for somewhere to stay he began “couch surfing”, moving from place to place and sleeping where he could.

Another date he wanted to forget: January 27nd—the day he became literally homeless.

He ran out of options and had nowhere to go. Fortunately, one of Nelson’s friends helped him search for an organization that could help him. The day that Mr. Smith came into TORCH, his life changed yet again, but for the better.

During that time, TORCH was preparing for the annual Point-In-Time (PIT) Count (a 24-hour count of the homeless). As a solution for any homeless individual identified during the PIT count TORCH assembled a Rapid Response Team. This team was comprised of a warming center staffed by nine local churches, local agencies, businesses, and organizations providing service based on the client’s individual needs. Although the weather caused serious issues, TORCH and the Rapid Response team was able to help homeless individuals access resources.

Using a holistic approach, and partnerships with other agencies and organizations, TORCH addressed Mr. Smith’s basic needs including food, shelter, and clothing, as well as longer term needs such as housing, mental health, and legal. One of Mr. Smith’s highest priorities was being able to speak to his son. Although he wasn’t able to see him until he obtained housing TORCH was able to allow Mr. Smith the tools to contact his son.

February 10th, 2014—another date Mr. Smith won’t soon forget. The date he obtained permanent supportive housing.

Mr. Smith has expressed extreme gratitude even through the hardship of the situation and frustrations of his condition. He says, “I prayed for something to happen, and my prayers were answered.” Mr. Smith states, “I had no idea people were so generous; the staff and volunteers at TORCH made everything possible.”

He is working on receiving short-term disability and requires more surgery for his leg, but overall, he is very happy to have a bed and a place to call home.

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