Homeless to Hopeful
Donald Edmonson answered ad online for a job, but when he and his son made the trip, there was no job available. Without employment, Donald ran out of money quickly and the two ended up sleeping in their car. They had hit rock bottom and needed help. He dialed the United Way’s 211 help number and were directed to The Salvation Army in Waterbury.
“The Salvation Army really stepped up for us and it was a great experience,” Donald recalled. Through the rapid rehousing program, they received rental assistance, which got them into an apartment. They were eventually able to transition out of rapid rehousing and were able to support themselves. “Although money was tight, we were able to make it,” Donald recalled. Without this program, he said “We would have been in a dire situation and out on the street. We wouldn’t be where we are today without it.”
Donald’s son Will was extremely worried about his father, seeing the stress he was under. Once they got to the shelter, the stability gave him great relief. “Knowing that we had somewhere to sleep at night, we had three meals a day, we had something that we can move forward from,” Will recalled. He felt much better but was still very worried about the future. But a short time later, he was able to finish high school and applied to several colleges across the country. “Without The Salvation Army, I would have had no future. I would be just another statistic,” he said. “It’s been life-changing for me.”
Now, for Donald and William, they are the ones helping to change lives for others. Both father and son are now working at the Waterbury Salvation Army Family Shelter as Housing Support Workers.