Alissa Gerber, a 43 year-old woman, has embarked on a transformative journey, overcoming a year of homelessness and life’s formidable challenges. In April 2023, Ms. Gerber became a participant in Catholic Charities of Fairfield County’s CCR Housing Program, where she was paired with Ms. Nataya Perry, a dedicated Senior Case Manager. Ms. Perry’s role was pivotal in helping Alissa secure housing and facilitating her connection to vital community resources.
Throughout her life, Ms. Gerber has assumed various roles, including Assistant Manager at McDonald’s, Supervisor at Kohl’s, and Manager at a local bar. However, amidst the complexities of family conflicts, substance abuse, and anxiety, maintaining stability became an arduous task. These circumstances eventually led her down the path of homelessness.
Turning to the resources available through 211, Ms. Gerber found her way to a Warming Center in Bridgeport, CT, where she spent six months. During this period, she received comprehensive support, including access to a Psychiatrist and a Substance Abuse Counselor. She also secured her first Housing Voucher through JD Amelia and became a part of the Catholic Charities of Fairfield County Housing Case Management Program.
Regrettably, the closure of the Warming Center and limited shelter options forced Ms. Gerber back to square one, culminating in her living in a tent in the woods. It was at this critical moment that the Catholic Charities Housing Case Management Program stepped in. Under the guidance of Ms. Nataya Perry, a suitable two-bedroom unit was found for Ms. Gerber within Bridgeport. Her journey towards stability was further aided by a generous $500 gift card from Bob’s Discount Furniture, allowing her to furnish her new apartment.
In the face of these formidable challenges, Ms. Gerber’s determination shone through. She effectively navigated the utilization of community resources, leveraging her monthly deposit of SNAP benefits, visiting local food pantries, and collaborating with Ms. Cynthia Marte, an Employment Specialist from Career Resources, to secure meaningful employment.
Now, with a sense of tranquility and stability in her life, Ms. Gerber expresses heartfelt gratitude for the assistance she received. She anticipates a brighter and more promising future. Her story stands as a testament to the power of resilience, the importance of community connections, and the transformative impact of compassionate assistance.
Find more information about Catholic Charities of Fairfield County’s Housing Programs by visiting www.ccfairfield.org/housing. If you, or someone you know, needs assistance with housing, please call 2-1-1.