Affordable Housing

Catholic Charities believes that safe, affordable housing is the important first step to helping people overcome adversity, create stability and work toward a successful future. Our affiliate, Housing for Hope, has affordable housing communities for low-income individuals and families.

Catholic Charities Resident Services teams help residents by connecting them with community resources to and facilitating community events.

Monday, 09 October 2023

Resident Services Staff Member Makes a Lifesaving Call

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Loving unconditionally may be a struggle for humans, but it comes naturally to animals. Animals view love as something all living beings deserve rather than an earned privilege.

Joe, a resident of Ironwood Village Apartments in Glendale, Ariz., found friendship in a dog named Bella. Ironwood Village is an affordable housing community developed by Housing for Hope, an affiliate of Catholic Charities. Residents of these communities receive support from Resident Services staff, who provide resources like afterschool programs, computer and job skill training, budgeting classes, and community events.

Finding a Companion in an Unexpected Place

About three years ago, Joe was walking when he heard faint barking from a dumpster. He immediately jumped in and discovered a small dog.

He took the dog home, cleaned and fed her, and nursed her back to health. Joe noticed a ball-shaped protrusion on her belly that affected her walking. Unfortunately, Joe didn’t have the financial means to seek medical care for Bella.

Bella came into Joe’s life when he needed her most. Joe had no family in Arizona and rarely received visits from friends.

Over the years, Joe tried to save up for treatment for Bella but would end up having to use his savings for other things. In that time, Bella’s protrusion had grown to the size of a grapefruit.

Taking Action to Save a Furry Friend

Sadly, Joe began to give up hope and accept that he might lose Bella. But it only took one person who cared to change that.

“Once I heard the story, I could not stand by and watch Bella suffer. So, I jumped into action and began to phone local shelters and vet offices to see if they would offer any help,” said Paty Guzman, a Resident Services Specialist.

Paty encountered many dead ends in her search. But one day, she found contact information for a veterinarian named Carol Ann.

Keeping Hope Alive

After hearing Joe and Bella’s story, Carol Ann told Paty she would make some calls. She explained that it may be a lengthy process and treatment would be costly. However, there was a chance that they could get a donor for the evaluation and potential surgery.

A week later, Paty received a call from Carol Ann. Carol Ann was able to find a donor from a local nonprofit called The Fetch Foundation.

“I could hardly control my emotions and told [Joe] that we had found a donor to cover all the expenses and Bella [could] be seen within the next week! Joe was overjoyed and began to cry from the great news,” said Paty.

Making a Lifelong Impact with an Act of Kindness

Bella went in for surgery a week later. The ball was removed and analyzed, but it was not cancerous. Bella has since made a full recovery and will live a long life.

People like Paty are proof that a simple act of kindness can change a life or even save one. If you’re interested in helping clients in our affordable housing communities, you too can carry out an act of kindness. Donating needed items through our Amazon Charity List is a great way to assist.

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Bethany Durham

Bethany Durham has a bachelor’s degree in Communication and a passion for storytelling. Her writing for Catholic Charities has included blogs, newspaper and magazine articles. She enjoys telling client stories in a way that captures the humanity and emotions of those she writes about. When she’s not working, Bethany loves to spend time with her two cats, hike and sing karaoke.


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