Safety,Security, & Guidance
The idea of living below the poverty line is something most of us only hope will never happen to us. Unfortunately, this idea is reality for many families and individuals living in the Appalachian regions of Ohio. The counties that outline the Appalachian region have a poverty rate of 17.8% which means about 348,000 out of the 1,958,000 people in Ohio fall into that category. 15 of the 16 counties with the highest poverty rates in Ohio were in the Appalachian region. Many of these families and individuals have lived in poverty all their lives. By not getting the assistance and guidance needed to achieve self sufficiency, young adults and children of these families will only ever be exposed to living in very low-income environments and are likely to continue the lifestyle as they start their own families, creating an ever growing problem.
This means, in our very own communities, many families are not able to provide their children with basic need items or furniture, senior citizens aren't able to obtain the necessary equipment needed to even get into their own homes, and 27% of home-owning veterans are living in poverty. At HARP we aim to help these individuals increase their quality of living and reach self sufficiency through material, emotional, and spiritual support thus creating a better community.
“ To Saundra and the whole team at the Harp Mission and especially the Great Gentlemen that helped with my driveway. I couldn’t begin to tell you how much my family and I appreciate it. Never in my life did I think I could or would cry over a driveway. It was causing so much stress on myself and family trying to figure out how to deal with it. It was a mess and the man that fixed it has done a great job and has made several trips here to make sure it’s holding up. My heart is filled with so much appreciation I cannot say thank you enough please tell the man who took his time that he didn’t have to to fix it for us and is caring enough to keep an eye on it from the bottom of my heart THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!! I knew it was a long shot when I asked for the help but you figured it out Saundra. For all the work you do in this town I want to thank you and you'll all be in my prayers. Forever Grateful!!!!”
I have read the Bible and I have prayed. I was starting to feel like God and the whole world had forgotten about me, or maybe they just couldn’t find me. It’s a very long story how I got here, 11 miles in the middle of nowhere Noble County in a falling apart trailer that belongs to my sisters’ ex-boyfriend. No car, no cell minutes, 1 electric heater, no water, no income and losing hope. I was a truck driver, a homemaker, a home owner, a hard worker, a wife, a daughter, a sister and a Christian. I want to have hope again.
With the last of my old coin collection I find a way into Caldwell. Someone told me to go to HARP. Ok, why not, I thought. Well it turned out someone actually listened to me and believed what I was telling them. Wow, I didn’t get laughed at. Within a few minutes I started to see things change in my life. Maybe there was hope and I was told God was there and he does love me. My new case manager at HARP ran to the dollar store to get me minutes for my cell phone. She set up an account with SEAT (southeast Ohio transit) so she could get me a ride to my doctor’s appointment. Oh yeah, I am diabetic. I take 4 shots a day and a doctor suspended my driver’s license because I may have a seizure. So, here is what’s going on now. I was approved for a HUD voucher and HARP helped me to find an apartment. We, are waiting on a HUD inspection of the apartment. If everything goes right I should have a place to live by the end of February.
In the mean time, When the temperature goes into the teens, I put my insulin into my pockets and cuddle up with all the blankets I can. My one electric heater does not do much for the termite ravaged trailer I live in. I have applied for SSI Disability and am waiting to hear back from them. HARP is still working closely with me to make sure that I don’t fall through another crack in the system. Through the grace of God, I am blessed again with hope for my future through. While I wait on my SSI Disability to come through, there are a few things I need to ask help with. HUD will cover my rent, however I will still need to find a way to pay for gas, electric, and water. I am not asking for anyone to send me money. If you can make a small donation to HARP in my name (Mary R.) that would help me out so much.