Kirsten Felix's Fundraising Page
West House is at a critical juncture: as the economic downturn has slowed individual donations, the cost of providing care (especially food and heating) has skyrocketed. So we turn to you for help.
We’re offering the opportunity to “adopt” a resident (heck, it worked for Sally Struthers, so we thought we’d give it a try). Below are brief overviews of 3 of our residents and an estimate of what their care costs. Your tax-deductible donation will help to subsidize their care and help West House continue providing desperately needed services.
“WILL.” Will is only 20 years old. Born horribly disfigured as a result of Spina-Bifida, Will’s mother immediately turned him over to the foster system. He was given to a foster family when he was less than a year old and spent the next 17 years as the target of their abuse and neglect. When he turned 18 and the subsidies stopped, his foster parents unceremoniously kicked him out of the only home he ever knew. With no resources and a limited ability to care for himself, he ended up in the hospital for an extended stay. Hospital Social Workers placed him at West House, where he has lived for over a year. When he came to us, one of the biggest challenges was hygiene: an attempted drowning during his childhood left his terrified of water and attempts at bathing him were traumatic. After months of attempts by our incredibly patient staff, he was able to overcome his fear. Today, Will’s health is markedly improved: he receives regular medical attention, his hygiene issues have been resolved and he is enrolled to begin classes at the local college this fall. His plan is to live at West House while he continues his studies and, upon graduation, he hopes to return as a staff member.
“PAUL.” He’s only 48 years old but the sadness in his eyes belie his age. As a result of illnesses to numerous to mention, Paul is dependent on others for care. Unfortunately, the “care” he received was at the hands of his brother who, anxious for the opportunity to get Paul’s social security check, readily agreed to take him. It was then, Paul was moved into the basement of his brother’s home. Although the basement was unfinished and unheated, Paul, with no other options, lived there for several years. His health deteriorated, his weight dropped to 86 pounds. And, as laid his head on his pillow each night, shivering beneath a threadbare blanket, he prayed for the warmth of dawn. Then one day, Paul decided he’d had enough. He was done worrying that he wasn’t getting the correct medications; he was done wondering if he was going to get enough to eat and he was done wishing he could get warm. Paul decided to move out; no small decision for a man with tremendous need and limited resources. Paul has lived at West House for approximately 6 months; his health has improved dramatically as he is now getting regular nutritious meals and regular medical care.
“BERT”. Bert was living a life many of us would envy and a successful college professor with a wife and 2 children. A car accident left him with a traumatic brain injury, unable to care for himself. Although his wife provided care during the long years of his recovery, she eventually found herself unable to continue providing 24 hour/7 day a week care. After she left him, his grown son, who was his power-of-attorney, sold his house out from under him leaving him with nowhere to live and no resources. When we found him, he was living in his car, starving, with medical issues raging out of control. Bert has lived with us for over a year, his health has stabilized and his numerous medical conditions are under control.
These are just a few of the faces of our West House family, but they represent all of our residents, struggling with ill health and poverty and needing a loving home and compassionate care. Your donation will help ensure that we are able to continue providing that care, not just for those residents profiled here but for all of those who come to us in need.