Monday, 24 April 2017

Volunteer Searches Streets to Help Homeless

Written by Renee Targos
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Cathy Wilson, volunteer for Catholic Charities homeless services, uses a caring and kind approach when working with the homeless population in Lake Havasu City, Ariz.

Wilson literally searches the streets looking for homeless individuals in need of resources and basic necessities.  Wilson accompanies Catholic Charities staff in collecting data regarding the contacts made each day, helps to pick up donated items and distributes supplies to the homeless. Wilson also helps complete paperwork and collects trash. While making contact with the homeless population in the community, Wilson works very closely with Susan Harris, Catholic Charities homeless outreach specialist. 

Volunteer Makes Helping Homeless Possiblecathy wilson

“Cathy is not only a very dedicated volunteer, but she is also quite literally, a backbone to our homeless services program.  She truly cares about each homeless individual that we make contact with and ensures that any immediate need is taken care of,” says Harris.  “Without Cathy, our contact with the homeless population would plummet. In our program, we are not able to go into homeless camp areas alone, so if Cathy was not a volunteer, we would not be able to provide services at such a complete and personal level.”

Catholic Charities homeless services program takes staff and volunteers to the streets to find homeless individuals not currently living in a shelter. Extreme temperatures are always an issue concerning the homeless, but so are basic necessities such as food, water, and health services, to name a few. 

Volunteering an Adventure

“Volunteering for Catholic Charities homeless services is always such an adventure.  Every day presents us with a new situation and a new opportunity to make someone smile and know that someone cares.  Providing for basic needs is an essential part of my volunteer position, but we have also been able to assist families in finding housing, transportation, and coordinate mental health services.  The look of gratitude in their face is what makes volunteering so meaningful and worthwhile,” says Wilson.

Volunteering to assist the homeless population is a cause that is close to Wilson’s heart. Wilson is a married mother of two, who is on a mission to give back to her community and bring awareness to the issues revolving around homelessness.  Wilson also volunteers for a soup kitchen at Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church and is where she met Harris. 

Hope to the Homeless

“Bringing hope is what volunteering with the Catholic Charities homeless services program is all about.  Being involved with Catholic Charities has enabled me to share stories of the homeless that we help and spread awareness of their needs so that they may have a chance to turn their lives around,” Wilson says.

Wilson’s volunteering efforts aid those that may be experiencing the darkest of times on the streets.  Wilson assures us that she “will continue to volunteer for Catholic Charities homeless services as long as she can” in an effort to set an example for the rest of her community to take an interest in the needs of the homeless population in Lake Havasu City.

For more information or to become involved, please contact Susan Harris at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You can learn about other volunteer oppoortunites or how you can give to support our work.

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