There’s no place like home for the holidays, croons Perry Como in the 1954 American Christmas classic. That sentiment is certainly true for many; however, for our clients who’ve experienced years of homelessness creating a home during the holidays without resources or belongings is a daunting task that highlights their feelings of loss and isolation.

“By not being able to create a warm and comfortable environment for their families our residents feel a sense of loss,” said Rodney Lee, program director of Community Housing. “They are grateful for our assistance through Project REACH, Fresh Start and Promise; however they really need help to make their apartment, room or house a ‘home’.

Lee points out that most of our residents in Community Housing come to us with little or no belongings and this is particularly true for residents living with challenges related to mental health disorders or substance misuse.

Recognizing this need, Catholic Charities Community Housing started a furniture drive three years ago. The drive is always held the first weekend of December and gathers essential housing items including lamps, tables, chairs, beds, dishes, and pictures for grateful families. “The items makes a huge difference in the overall feelings one has about being in a home of their own for the first time.”

The drive was initiated three years ago by Community Services Administrator, Sue DeSantis. Partners include Boys Scout Troop #92, St. Ambrose Catholic Church (who were very involved the first year) and the Epworth United Methodist Church of Cockeysville,

The items collected on Dec.8 were strategically disseminated according to the needs and wishes of eight individuals and families in Projects REACH and Fresh Start.

“This was all possible thanks to the Boy Scouts, volunteers from Epworth United Methodist Church who loaded up moving trucks, and staff from Catholic Charities Community Housing Programs,” said a pleased Sue DeSantis.

“At this joyous time of the year, we are mindful of all we have and grateful for our opportunity to fulfill Catholic Charities’ mission and make Christmas and all days merry and bright,” added Lee.