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Through hard times, Ron J. may have lost income and a secure place to live, but he never lost his faith in God. “I came from a religious background,” he says. “My circumstances were hard, but I still believed.” His positive outlook helped Ron find St. Joseph Overnight Shelter and eventually St. Elizabeth Center, part of Catholic Charities in Lorain County. For nearly a decade, Ron took advantage of the many services offered by Catholic Charities. “My caseworker, Stephanie, helped me so much,” he says. Through Catholic Charities, Ron found the behavioral health care he needed and, eventually, his own home. “It feels good,” Ron says about having his own place. “It’s what’s called living the dream. I thank God for that.”

While he lived at St. Elizabeth, Ron made a point of helping out however he could. Now that he has permanent housing, Ron considers volunteering at the center his way of saying thanks. “I’m a long way from St. Elizabeth now, but every chance I get I come down and make my presence felt,” he says. On certain days at the center, you might find Ron unloading the food truck, sorting produce or helping in the kitchen. “That the best I can do and the least I can do to show my appreciation.”

Next up for Ron: securing his social security for retirement. “That’s the last piece of the puzzle,” he says. Catholic Charities remains a source of guidance and information as Ron makes his way toward full independence.

“My hat’s off to Catholic Charities for believing in me and opening the door for me,” he says. And for those whose contributions to Catholic Charities make it possible for people like Ron to get the help they deserve, know that Ron appreciates you as well. “It’s something challenging,” he says of making financial contributions, “but it’s a good thing.”

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