Category Archives: Community

The Dawson’s Story

Sometimes the difference between comfortable, stable living and homelessness comes in a flash.  For the Dawson family, Luke, Charleen and their daughter, it came in the form of an electrical fire that destroyed the home they rented and almost everything they owned.  Luke was already facing life-threatening health issues that ended a fifteen-year construction career.  He has heart disease.  And epilepsy was found when he experienced a near-deadly seizure while driving.  With nowhere to live, they turned to Bethlehem Inn.  Their experience? In Charleen’s words, “They showed us the steps to take to clear every hurdle we came to.  We put in the work, but they were there to point the way.”  School was still in session and Inn staff, working with the Family Access Network, had their sixth-grader back in class in two days.  Bethlehem Inn connected the Dawsons with NeighborImpact for housing assistance.  Says Charleen, “Bethlehem Inn just kept opening doors for us.  Things like rental denials turned into acceptances.”  Within two weeks of getting to the Inn, the Dawsons were set to move into rental housing.  Luke calls the multi-faceted help “…a circle of care…and a huge stress relief.”   The Dawsons expressed their gratitude for Bethlehem Inn and acknowledged that the support and their own hard work helped them find their way to a new and promising “normal.”

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