The Season of Sharing fund was created in 2000 as a partnership between the Sarasota Herald-Tribune and the Community Foundation of Sarasota County. The goal is to provide emergency funds to individuals and families on the brink of homelessness in Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte, and DeSoto counties. During this holiday season, we’re sharing stories of a few of the people we have helped this year.
Anthony came to Catholic Charities for help with his rent. He works full time, but when he learned that his father was diagnosed with COVID-19 and was dying, he took off time from work to be with his father. His father died within the week, and Anthony and his family planned the funeral for the following week. Anthony stayed with his family during this time, and he missed two weeks without pay.
When he returned to work, he was told he would have to quarantine for fourteen days without pay. The month without pay put him behind in all his bills including his rent. Once he was back to work, he was able to pay $120 toward his rent he was behind, but nothing for the upcoming month. Anthony had never been in a position of needing help before and wasn’t sure where to go. When he came to Catholic Charities and learned about the Season of Sharing Program, he was grateful for the help of rent to get him back all caught up.
For Anthony, losing his father has been difficult, but with the help of Catholic Charities and Season of Sharing, he was able to grieve with his family and get the helped he needed.
Danetra is a single mother of a 6-year-old girl and an 8-month-old boy. Danetra’s pregnancy was at risk, and she wasn’t able to work throughout her whole pregnancy, stoping working in February. At the end of March on the day, the baby was to be induced, Danetra was in a car accident. The car was totaled, but thankfully but she and the baby survived. They both remained in the hospital for two weeks after the accident but were finally able to go home.
Her only income at this time was the stimulus check she received and some help from her family. Even though the car was totaled, she still had to pay the monthly payment and the deductible insurance amount. Danetra was able to pay a part of the March rent, but none of April or May. When she tried to go back to work at her previous employer, she was told they had to let some employees go because of the pandemic. Fearful she and the children would be evicted and become homeless, she came to Catholic Charities for help. Season of Sharing funds saved her home.
Danetra and her children are doing well and, she’s working again. She is beyond thankful for the support during her time of need.
In January, Greg came into our shelter with his son, and Catholic Charities helped him transition into his own place. Greg had never lived at his own place before and was doing well on his own. Unfortunately, COVID-19 hit, and Greg was one of the millions that were forced into unemployment.
Greg had been making it work with day labor employment until Greg was walking at night and struck by a vehicle, causing serious injuries, including a broken neck. Greg needed help with his water bill, and we were able to help him with this bill during his recovery.
Greg is so grateful for the support of Catholic Charities, and we are continuing to help Greg during his recovery by connecting him with our social service support agencies and tools until he can fully get back to work.