By Katie Hinerman Klug
Many families are one unexpected expense away from experiencing homelessness. Without a support system, families are often separated at homeless shelters and continue to struggle to save money.
The Catholic Charities Hospitality House in Wheeling is a unique solution to this problem.
The Hospitality House provides transitional housing for a family for three to six months. The family is able to stay intact and sleep under one roof while receiving intensive case management services to get back on their feet.
Recently, the Womack family stayed at the Hospitality House. Maria Womack and her husband had been sleeping in their car while their four kids were being juggled between friends’ couches. They struggled to pay for food and other basic needs, and they were not able to even begin to save money for rent payments.
“My life has changed for the better being in this program,” said Maria Womack. “Catholic Charities has helped me become a better person and mother to my children.”
As part of the Hospitality House case management program, residents meet with a representative from West Virginia Saves to learn about budgeting and saving money.
The Catholic Charities case manager also helps ensure that all members of the family are receiving the services they need, whether that’s quality daycare or early intervention services for the children, employment opportunities for adults, or any type of support family members need to reach their goals.
“I have opened a checking account and began saving money,” said Womack. “I am learning about budgeting and we have been helped with food, gas money for doctors’ appointments, filling out housing applications and so much more.”
After living in the Hospitality House for six months, the Womack family was able to move into their own 4-bedroom apartment. Both parents are employed, their oldest son with autism is receiving quality care, and the other children are enrolled in quality daycare and after school programs. All members of the Womack family are thriving after receiving caring and compassionate services from Catholic Charities West Virginia.