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From homeless to homeowner with the help of Secure Senior Program

Published: Jul. 29, 2021 at 5:12 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The Alliance for Interfaith Ministries, People And Congregations Engaged in Ministry (PACEM), and Habitat for Humanity teamed up to support one man in his incredible success story.

AIM started the Secure Senior Program to help get seniors off the streets.

“We pay $500 towards that deposit and $500 towards the rent. We also provide them with furniture, a bed, dresser and that type of thing. It’s to get them started,” AIM Intake and Volunteer Manager Jean Bourbeau said.

The program started two years ago. Ferris Brown was referred to AIM by PACEM.

“Number one, they have to be seniors, and number two, they have to be homeless, and so that’s how they, they initially came through hardship, they are referred to us,” Bourbeau said.

“I only have a small family so I really didn’t have anywhere to go, I didn’t have really didn’t even have a job perspective,” Secure Senior Program participant Ferris Brown said.

Habitat for Humanity built the home that Brown is in now. AIM supported him with the move.

“Someone told me about Habitat for Humanity, and then the process of moving in my apartment there and kind of getting settled in. I went to one of the orientations and I filled out the application for that,” Brown said.

“He went from being homeless to, as you can see, owning a home, and he did it through his own dedication and hard work,” Bourbeau said.

AIM also provides food and supplies through their REACH program twice a month. The supplies includes household items not covered by SNAP benefits.

“The monthly deliveries are done by volunteers at First Presbyterian Church, and they get to know our clients,” Bourbeau said. “It’s a village that’s helping these folks and so it really does take a village and there’s a lot of us involved.”

Brown says the support has meant everything. “It shows me that there are a lot of good people, a lot of good people around.”

AIM continues working with their clients for as long as they need. As AIM says, they never close the case.

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