Their Stories

Off The Streets in Action

8-18-2017 So God was good and kept the rain at bay for two moves on Saturday. We were also Blessed with a large team of trucks and help.

MOVE 1: For Imani, a single mom with two sons who will be home from their father's home in two weeks to start school. OTS delivered 3 beds, bedding and pillows. We never had the privilege of meeting Imani as she was working two jobs but her friend James, received the items from the move and helped us move things in.

MOVE 2: Kaila, a lovely single mother of four children had a three story row home with NOTHING but an air mattress, TV, three plastic cereal bowls, and some cleaning supplies!
OTS Volunteers delivered a couch, side chair, coffee table, end table, kitchen table with five chairs, a double bed, box spring and mattress, four single mattresses total with no frames or box springs, 6 pillows and all bedding, a tall dresser and two small three drawer dresses and 1 night table, bath towels for six, shower rod and curtain and two bath mats for the two bathrooms. We delivered an iron, toaster oven, crock pot, coffee maker, cookie sheet and cup cake pan, living needs box of pots and pans, of dishes and glasses and mugs, and utensils for 6 people. She was delighted with her newly furnished home. Her children were with her mother while we were delivering and she was happy for them to be able to come home to a "Home"!
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Off the Streets Now, Lancaster PA Chapter shared Tabor Community Services, Inc.'s photo. ... See MoreSee Less

Howard was moving into his own place and needed help with furnishing his place. Sonya, one of Tabor's case managers referred him to Off the Streets Now, Lancaster PA Chapter and they helped Howard out...

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OTS helped a single gentleman named K** this past week. We moved various furniture and living needs items in a 2 day process. George S. and Patrick L. brought a truck load of items and I brought a car load of living needs to an apt. devoid of furniture on Wednesday morning. In his apt., his personal items were in bags and on piles strewn all over the floor. We agreed to complete the remaining items move the following day. Tom and I returned with a few additional items on Thursday to find a very neat and tidy apartment with all his items organized in his newly delivered dresser and off the floor, rugs laid and Wednesday’s furniture delivery neatly situated in his various rooms – all looking very homey !. He helped us move in an additional chair, some lamps and misc.furnishings. He was very kind and grateful. He currently volunteers at the Water Street Rescue Mission in their kitchen. -- submitted by OTS volunteer Nancy O ... See MoreSee Less

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In 2017, OTS has assisted 81 men, women and children into permanent housing -- an amazing total of 976 people since we began this ministry in 2013. All due to dedicated volunteers and generous donors. Thank you Lancaster County! ... See MoreSee Less

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June 2015...4 years later...

May 08, 2015: First move in the "summer-like" heat went smoothly (except for a little glitch in directions.. Kathy and Jeff, "the lifters" (Lee and Jeremy) and I were lost.. Kathy got there after a few turn arounds and she still beat us.. as we were stuck in traffic on Rt. 222 & Rt30 in 4 PM traffic and then got turned around ! But, we all made it and Keenya had her son there to help us. She was so grateful and when she saw the vaccum cleaner, she cried; the crock pot and coffee pot brought more tears! She was so pleased and sends her blessings to all!
-- Enrica

May 02, 2015: On Saturday May 2, a move for Jennifer and her 7 year old son was accomplished . Furniture and Living Needs were delivered by a precision team of seasoned OTS volunteers. They had moved into their apartment in Paradise 3 weeks ago, and had been sleeping on the floor most of that time. It was heartwarming to see her son’s previously bare room now furnished with a bed made up with new bed linen, and a dresser for his belongings which were in a pile on the floor. Jennifer was very grateful and openly spoke of her faith in God.

April 28, 2015: Move completed for Yenesicy and her two children last Saturday. Furniture and living needs expertly delivered by the OTS team, which included our newest and youngest volunteer-high school sophmore mover Ryan.

April 8, 2015: OTS was super busy today! We helped Megan with a delivery of kitchen table, chairs, and dresser (her boyfriend came to help with the lifting). OTS then made a few other dropoffs to some folks we already moved with additional furniture and some pickups of donated furniture. OTS then helped Donald, who has been homeless since 2010, by delivering a bed, bedding, lamp, kitchen supplies, etc. Donald's apartment is small but workable and unfortunately the doors and stairways to the third floor make it impossible to get any upholstered chairs in there. After watching from his third floor apartment across the street, a neighbor came running across the street to help get the last item from the car! The Holy Spirit works in many ways!!! We wish Megan and Donald many blessings in their new homes.

April 5, 2015: Yesterday, a super team moved an expectant mom, her five year old daughter, and her one year old son into their own "safe house" apartment! Thank you to Tom and Mile for their trucks and energy; thanks to Linda for delivering a needed twin mattress to the warehouse; thanks to Lee for bringing two young friends Crystal and big strong Jeraminy; thx to Jeff and his dining room table assembly skills and thanks to everyone for carrying, tugging, lugging, and lifting up the two narrow staircases! Thanks to my preview partner Kathy F. who gave up her desk lamp from her teacher days!! Thx also for anyone I may have forgotten and mostly thx for all those prayers coming in everyday.. As Pope Francis says.. " pray like you really believe" !! OTS has a lot of true "believers" ... God Bless Enrica

March 26, 2015: The week before last, Tom, Jeff, Lee, his friend Carolyn, and I took a full bed, kitchen table and chairs, living room chair, end tables, lamps, etc. to Jill in Mount Joy. Linda P and Lee had already delivered her living needs kits to her. The move went smoothly because Lee was there to show us the back way in to her 2 room place. Jill was very grateful and in the course of phone calls, she told me some things about herself - ow she has written a children's book called "The Waddles" and how she writes poetry. As I left and she was expressing her gratitude, I suggested that she write a poem about Off the Streets. She was so excited she called me the next two days to discuss it. Now she said it is in the mail to my address and I will share it with everyone when it arrives... Jill is on oxygen all the time, walks with a walker and has many challenges yet still she finds life and usefulness in her writings. I can hardly wait for the poem to arrive and yes, she did give us permission to "publish" it on our website! Stay tuned... God is so good !! -- Enrica

March 17, 2015: On Sunday amid the cold gusty winds a move was made to Lashalee and Xavier. They were in a completely empty apartment, sleeping on the floor. We provided a queen bed, 2 dressers, kitchen table and chairs, two living room chairs, and a lamp. Also pillows and bedding and some misc. items. Two twin beds were requested but we had none at the time. Lashalee can't regain her children until the second bedroom is complete. OTS is happy to report that the kids were reunited with their mom shortly after this move!

March 7, 2015: On Saturday morning March 7th Jer, Steve, Enrica, Jeff, and George met at the warehouse in near zero temperature and loaded two full size and one queen size bed, two dressers, and a dining table with six chairs into three trucks. One van was filled with living needs. All requested for a mother with four children, and successfully delivered with the help of Nancy B's planning. The only visible furniture in the apt was one air mattress. The place looks a lot better now, and we plan on delivering a couch tomorrow. Thanks be to God for all our donors and volunteers, George

February 28, 2015: Move completed today for Lori and her 1 year old son Michael. Delivered a bed, dresser, bookcase, recliner, 3 chairs, kitchen table, end tables, lamps, vacuum cleaner, area rugs, TV table, and Living Needs. Lori was very helpful. By the time we had finished unloading everything from the truck and trailer, she had moved most of it into her apartment already- she was very grateful ! Enrica, Jeff and Lee came and assisted as well. We had the job done in about 15 minutes! Hopefully this was the last move in subfreezing temperatures, at least for this year. Thanks also to Jere and his neighbor John, who helped load, and also delivered and unloaded a trailer-load of furniture which had been donated. And also a big thank you to Scott R. for his follow through in getting our lamp donations (and there have been a lot recently !) in working order for donation to the families that we move in. -- Tom O

January 13, 2015: On Saturday we were able to complete a move for Amy and her two children. Items included queen bed, twin bed, 2 dressers, throw rug, three lamps, crib mattress, end tables, sofa, desk, kitchen table and chairs, Living Needs, cleaning supplies. It was a pleasure working with Amy and her 17 year old son Danny. He is a very well spoken and accomplished young man. They both pitched in and helped get the job done. Unfortunately, her 2 year old was still suffering from some kind of GI bug. We all wish Amy and her family well in their new home. It is truly a blessing to be part of the OTS group of people. -- Tom O.

December 18, 2014: This may be a record for OTS! Most people helped Off the Streets in a single day by our group!!! A total of 9 people were moved into permanent housing here in Lancaster County. Jer, George, Steve and Tom delivered beds to Steve (one bed), Zamaly and her 3 children (4 beds), and Sheila, Darryl and their 2 children, (3 beds ) today. All went well, although we ran out of twin box springs by the time we got to Zamaly. We also included bedding for all 8 beds. Thanks to Mary Beth M. and Nancy O for pulling together the bedding needs.

December 12, 2014: Deacon Oles made a request for household items for a family that recently moved into a home of their own. Patty M, Nancy B, and Nancy O pulled together and delivered a complete Living Needs box, personal needs/ cleaning supply bucket and Bedding for Holly and her 2 children.

November, 2014: November was a busy month for Off the Streets. We moved 22 people last month into permanent housing and here is the AMAZING part...6 women and 16 CHILDREN !!! We are so thankful to all who are supporting our mission with monetary and furniture donations.

November 11, 2014: Hello, Completed a move this afternoon to Judith and her 5 children, and 1 grandchild. We delivered and added to other donations from various agencies – 3 complete twin size beds and 1 complete full size bed, along with matching bedding and pillows, household Living Needs items, cleaning and personal care bucket of items, and a large bag of food. The full size bed did not fit up through her inside stairwell, so her brother and nephew asked that they keep it and snag some additional help later and hoist it over the back fence and up over their 2nd floor back balcony, using ropes!?! (similar to how they hoisted 2 sofas up last weekend). We were very grateful to today’s move team and their vehicles to transport everything: Jean, Linda and John, Enrica and Jeff, and Mary Beth – would not have been able to accomplish it with out all your terrific and generous energy! P.S. Special thanks to a last minute twin bed donation from Nancy B. and also on a side note – as we did not have a complete full size bed on hand at the unit for today’s move, the previewers were considering taking up Deacon Mike’s offer to purchase the requested full size bed center at the the local American Sleep Center, however, before doing so, even though we checked in the back of their store yesterday afternoon to no avail for any bed donations (which they place outside to the public to take for free) Tom took another swing around at noon today, and lo and behold there was a gently used full size complete bed waiting to be given a second home – talk about The Holy Spirit working with us! Judith was very thankful and said she knows her family will sleep soundly tonight! Thank you again to everyone today that helped Judith’s family today. Nancy and Tom

October 24, 2014: Furniture and Living Needs delivered to Jeremy today. He just moved in to his apartment this afternoon. Queen mattress, kitchen table and two chairs, two upholstered chairs, dresser with mirror, three lamps, throw rugs, end table, microwave, fan, cleaning supplies, food bag, living needs. WOW! He and his friend John helped carry in all the items. He was very appreciative. Thank you, Nancy B for assisting in pulling together a Living Needs kit and bucket of personal care/cleaning supplies, and Linda and John - for a nice sized food bag for Jeremy.

October 23, 2014: Dropped off a few items for Linda yesterday: two kitchen chairs, microwave with cart, food basket Linda was very grateful.

October 21, 2014: Move completed for Pearl: dishes, love seat, 60” 9 drawer dresser with mirror. She was very appreciative. Her son helped with the furniture. He had just finished 5 years of service in the Marine Corps, so no problem moving in the furniture. -- Tom

October 11, 2014: OTS delivered furniture and living needs to Crist, including a queen bed, dresser, coffee table, lamp, living needs, cleaning supplies, and food basket. He was very grateful for everything, especially the bed and the cookware that Nancy B had thoughtfully picked out for him since his occupation was that of a chef. He referred to each piece of cookware using precise culinary nomenclature and began to name the dishes he was going to prepare in each. Chicken Pot Pie was first on the list.

October 4, 2014: Completed move today for Kent. He just moved in yesterday. The only thing in his apartment was a bed. He now has a kitchen table, chairs, recliner, upholstered chair, coffee table, end table, dresser, lamps, Living Needs, Food basket, and cleaning supplies. In addition to Steve, Paul and Tom, we were joined by two Good Samaritan volunteers from LCHS for the first time: Cole and Connor. Wow! What a great help they were in moving the furniture. We are extremely grateful for their involvement through the Good Samaritan program at LCHS and hope it continues and that it is a good experience for them as well. Many thanks to Jack, Linda and also Jim from LCHS for helping to get this started. Kent was very thankful. God Bless Tom

Sept 27, 2014: On a beautiful Saturday afternoon, OTS helped Jasmine, who is expecting a baby and her 2 year old, into their own place in Lancaster City -- providing queen bed, twin bed, dresser, end table, coffee table, sofa, lamps and Living Needs (all donated items from our Lancaster community). Blessings to Jasmine and her family in their new home and thanks to our many donors and volunteers for making this happen. OTS is really making a difference - one person, one family at a time!

Sept 26, 2014:
We were able to get some furniture and Living Needs to Tony early this evening to complete his move. Thank you to Patty and Mary Beth for doing the preview a few days back and starting him with a Living Needs Kit and Bedding. Also, last week Nancy B delivered a much appreciated personal needs and cleaning supplies basket to him.
Jeff, Lee, Nancy O and Tom loaded up the truck and trailer : Queen bed, dresser, floor lamp, recliner, end table, coffee table, fan. Nancy O came from helping to cook the community meals at St. Mary’s and also delivered a hot meal and also some canned and packaged food items from their pantry.
Tony met us at the parking lot near his third floor apartment along with his three friends, Marlin, James , and Cody, who were kind enough to get the furniture up to his apartment. They made it look so easy; I almost wanted to cry.
Tony was very grateful. -- Tom O.

Sept 17, 2014: Read the following email chain about OTS providing QUICK help with furniture and living needs for a family who was helped into permanent housing by a local community service agency but had no furniture, living needs or means of purchasing them.
Email On Sep 17, 2014:
Good Afternoon,
I am an intern from a Lancaster service agency. A few days ago, my supervisor attended the HSPN meeting and heard about Off the Streets and their services. She was given two phone numbers for OTS, and I did call and leave a message, but I figured I’d email too in case someone else can help out.
We moved a homeless woman and her 9 year old daughter into an apartment. She had no furniture, dishes, or pots and pans—just a few trash bags of clothing. She will not be getting her cash assistance until later in the month, and we were trying to find anything for her that could be provided as a donation, as she is unable to pay even a discounted amount for used furniture, dishes, or kitchenware at this time. My supervisor suggested I contact your organization to see if you could help, or have any suggestions for us?
-- Emily
Email On Sep 23, 2014:
Good Afternoon!
I just finished helping my client and and an Off the Streets volunteer (Linda), carry in the boxes donated by OTS in Lancaster. Thank you all so much for what you do, it is SO appreciated.

I got started working with people experiencing homelessness through my previous job as a legislative aide for a state representative. As a constituent office, we dealt with all types of people, but the homeless were always a particular interest for me for several reasons. First, like many, I naively assumed at first that the reason they had become homeless was due to something that they could have controlled. The more people I met with, the more I realized how close so many people are to becoming homeless. This sparked my interest to get more involved in working with this population.

Equally fascinating to me are the resources available, and the willingness of people and organizations to come together to help, much like yours. There is no better feeling in the world than watching the interaction between my client and Linda; my client being so utterly grateful, and Linda being so glad to be able to serve. With that, I applied for Millersville/Shippensburg Universities’ MSW program, and here I am! Thank you so much again for all you do, we are so grateful. I look forward to reading your book!
-- Emily

Sept 17, 2014 : OTS Moving team of John, Jack, Lee & Tom moved Frances into apartment, delivering living needs, bedframe, kitchen table, chairs & a food basket. Thanks to the guys and ALL the behind the scenes folks making it all happen!

Sept 4, 2014 : Another move was completed for a young lady who is expecting a little girl in November and has a soon to be three year old little boy who is being tested for developmental issues presenting themselves on the autism spectrum. Mom needed all furnishings, living needs, lighting, linens, etc. She was very grateful for all the items and the food bag! Thanks to a great team who worked in a tight alley at high noon in 90 degree heat!! What a commitment! Thanks, Jer, Jean, Don, Jeff, Lee, Patty (my preview partner) and the two Asian gentlemen who helped unload because they wanted to get through the alley which we had to block. It is always an experience! -- Enrica
P.S. I am thinking of cancelling my gym membership because I've found a new outlet for my weight lifting and cardio! (Ha !)

August 30, 2014 : Furniture and Living Needs delivered to Samantha today. Jer, Jean, Matt, Paul, Tom, Samantha and her friend Mike all pitched in and got the job done in fine order. Two beds, sofa, two dressers with mirrors, kitchen table, four chairs, vacuum cleaner, lamps, food basket as well as linens, kitchen ware etc. Samantha was very appreciative. We wish her and her family well in her new apartment.

August 29, 2014 : Move for Shamaica and her little girl was completed today. Dresser, book shelf, end tables, lamps, living room chairs (3), queen bed frame, cleaning supplies, living needs, and food basket. Thanks to the team - Tom, John and Linda P., Jeff and Lee - very smooth, very efficient move! Shamaica and her grandfather, Jim, were very appreciative! -- Enrica

August 27, 2014 : Furniture and Living Needs delivered to Sandra and her family (disabled husband and two daughters). Two dressers, bookcase, chairs, end table and Living Needs. They were very grateful. -- from Tom and Nancy

August 25, 2014 : Don and I delivered full bed set to Crystal and her toddler today. She was very appreciative.

August 8, 2014 : Move completed for Chevelle T. Thanks to Patty and Mary Beth for their excellent preview work and delivering living needs. Enrica, Jeff and Lee, Daniel O., Jack, Jer and Tom. Full bed and other furniture delivered.

August 5, 2014 : Tom O and son Daniel helped to move Norman, supplying twin bed, microwave and livings needs.

2014-07-30 July 30, 2014: Last night OTS struck again, William R had some of our inventory delivered to his new digs in Lancaster city. Jeff & Rickie G, Patty M, Algean and Thomas S (a former customer!!) all helped supply him with furniture and living needs. If you need proof, check attached photo.


July 17, 2014:Moved Bismar into a Lancaster city apartment. Originally from Cuba, he had been living at Water Street Mission for quite a while. Referred to us by The Lodge Life Services, he has been receiving good support from his church. We wish him the best.

July 4, 2014: Completed a move today for Jayleen and family: 3 boys ages 9, 3,and 2. Sincere thanks to all helpers: Nancy B, Jer, Suzanne, Mike, Enrica, Jeff, Lee, Tom and Nancy O. Three bedrooms, Living room, kitchen furniture and Living Needs. Three beds, 2 dressers, desk, sofa, chairs, hutch, coffee table, end tables, kitchen table and chairs (A BIG MOVE!).
Jayleen and family were very appreciative.
Outstanding work and commitment by our Lancaster team!!

June 15, 2014: OTS made 2 furniture deliveries today. Karen R received a chair, bookcase and living needs. Michael P received furniture and living needs. Both very appreciative. Highlight: Circ de Soleil-like performance by Jer and Michael hoisting queen bed and box spring up via second floor balcony! Thanks to OTS work crew: Enrica, Jeff, Lee, Jean, Jer and Tom

June 5, 2014: Moved Sergei into Lancaster City apartment, providing bed, dresser, living needs.

March 11, 2014: OTS made 2 furniture deliveries today. A bed and bedding were supplied for a woman in Lancaster City. And a second move supplied a double bed, 2 chairs, 2 lamps, small end table, and Living Needs to a couple also living in the city. The gentleman receiving our help was able to singlehandedly and effortlessly move all furniture to their third floor apartment. He has offered his services to help move others in the future.
Thanks, Tom O, for the move and the update.

March 1, 2014: Today, OTS helped to move a young man who crossed the world with the hope of a better life in Lancaster Country, PA. This young man, named Thomas, won a greencard (believe it or not!) in a lottery and arrived here from Sierra Leone, a country in West Africa, where 70% of the population lives below the poverty level. He already has a job working midnights as a janitor and was ready to move out from a sponsor family's home. OTS was able to provide him with a security deposit and some basics (like a bed, dishes, linens) to get him started. He’s both articulate and eager to move forward and better his lot and was more than thankful for what OTS has done for him financially and with furnishings. February, 2014: OTS supplied 4 security deposits this month and provided furniture and household goods for 4 individuals or families.

January 28, 2014: It's bitterly cold out there, but OTS volunteers are working hard as always. Don C, Jer T. and Tom O. delivered a trailer load of furniture and living needs to three people (Kim, Merton, and Jonathan). They were all very grateful.

January 11, 2014: Another move to celebrate!! Merton was helped Off the Streets with a security deposit and furniture. Merton was very appreciative as his place was "bare walls" when he moved in. Thanks to our hard working team: Tom O’Conor, Matt Wentzel, Jean and Jer Thompson. And thanks to our God for the many blessings He gives us and for stopping the rain just in time for the furniture move.

Faith-based charities offer many hope (Off The Streets in the NEWS!!!)

December 13, 2013:OTS helped move Vance into an apartment in Lancaster City. Vance is in a first floor apartment as he needs a cane to get around. We delivered a bed, small kitchen table, end tables, bookshelf and household goods. Moving Crew: Nancy, Tom, Jer, Jean, Sue.

Sue D, Jasmine, Nancy O, Enrica G, Jeff G

Sue, Jasmine, Nancy, Enrica, Jeff, Tom (not pictured, he was taking the pic!)

December 7, 2013: Jasmine is a young single mom. We helped her move to an apartment in Lancaster City and dropped off a bed, dresser, kitchen table and chairs and household items (bed linens, towels, kitchen items). She was so excited and appreciative - jumping up and down like a kid on Christmas morning! HO! HO! HO!