Getting the Homeless Off the Streets — One Person at a Time
Sometimes it’s as easy as providing a security deposit!
Trumbull, CT – July 9, 2014 – What began as a grassroots movement in Danbury to help get the homeless off the streets one person at a time, is now taking root in the greater Bridgeport area with Off the Streets, Inc.’s (OTS) new chapter Off the Streets of Bridgeport, Fairfield and Trumbull (OTSBFT). OTSBFT’s main focus is bridging the gap between local social service agencies and their homeless clients’ ability to pay security deposits for housing. It also fulfills their clients’ need for basic furnishings and household goods.
“Off the Streets is a ministry which helps the homeless get a roof over their heads and provides them with some basic living needs for their new apartment,” explains Deacon Kevin Moore, administrator of the newly formed Bridgeport/Fairfield/Trumbull chapter of Off the Streets. “The people we help have the ability to pay their rent but need assistance in the form of a security deposit as well as basic household items such as a table and chairs, a bed, clean linens, dishes etc.”
OTS firmly believes that their clients’ success is directly tied to their need to feel that their newfound residences are really their homes. As a result, OTS volunteers work diligently to provide basic furnishings (bed, table, chairs, lamps, etc.) along with a housewarming box containing a “starter kit” of household goods such as towels, clean linens, cookware, dishes, flatware, and non-perishable food items.
“We want everyone we help to have the opportunity to succeed in their new lives off the streets,” states Moore. “Providing housewarming packages with those basics needed to run a household helps restore their self-esteem and encourages them to move forward.”
In the greater Bridgeport area, it takes approximately $900 for a security deposit to get one person or family off the streets and into housing. Most homeless people literally only have the clothes on their back and cannot save such a large sum of money.
What can you do to help?
- Financial Contributions: Off the Streets does not rely on national, state, or local government money and has been blessed by the generosity of donors who believe in OTS’s mission. In the greater Bridgeport area, it takes (on average) $900 for a security deposit to get one person or family off the streets and into housing. Most homeless simply cannot save such a large sum of money to cover security deposits. With no paid staff, no office, and minimal overhead ($20/month), all other funds contributed go directly to support OTS’s mission. Tax-deductible contributions may be sent to: Off the Streets — P.O. Box 110612 — Trumbull, CT 06611
- Household Items: When a homeless person gets a room or apartment, often he/she moves in with only the clothes on their back and the few articles they can carry in their arms. OTS wants their clients to have a new beginning and that starts with the “small things of life” — basic furnishings that transforms a basic, empty apartment into a home. OTS also supplies clients with a ‘care package’ of necessary household items and toiletries. Visit http://offthestreetsnow.com/bft/home-bft/ for a detailed listing of needed items.OTSBFT is holding a donation drop-off day on Saturday, July 19 from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Our Lady of the Assumption Church’s parking lot.
- Volunteer: OTS volunteers are its lifeblood! If you wish to donate your time and talents to OTS, please visit http://offthestreetsnow.com/bft/home-bft/ to see how you may help.
Since its founding in 2009, OTS has assisted over 300 people. Because OTS is a 100 percent volunteer based charitable organization without a physical office, there is virtually no overhead — approximately $20 per month per chapter covers insurance, P.O. Box, and the OTS website. All other funds directly support OTS’s mission. Additionally, due to their relationships with landlords, property managers, and social services OTS can act very quickly — often transitioning a homeless client into a furnished room or apartment in as little as two to fourteen days. OTS operates in Danbury, CT; Lancaster, PA; and in Bridgeport, Fairfield, and Trumbull, CT. Additional locations are under development in California. For more information about OTS, please visit www.offthestreetsnow.com.
# # #