2019 Annual Appeal

Dear Friend,

On a warm summer night in July 2017, Rosa, a senior citizen recently retired after working 25 years in a nursing home, and her daughter, Esperanza, a graduate of NYU who works for a non-profit agency, were awakened at 2 am by the smell of smoke in their Bronx apartment which they had shared for 36 years. They checked around the apartment until they got to the door, where perpetrators were trying to set fire to the door and break the lock. The young men succeeded in breaking down the door and started beating the women and stealing their meager possessions. Fortunately, the offenders ran out as the police arrived saving the two women from greater harm. The police escorted the women to safety at the local precinct and told them that for their future well-being they should not return to their apartment.

For several months before this fateful night, Rosa and Esperanza had faced continuous harassment from unknown individuals who would sit for hours on the outside steps leading to their apartment discussing drug deals and gang activities. The two women dreaded leaving their apartment for fear of their safety. Appeals to their landlord for help went unheeded ending in the tragedy of that July evening.

Heeding the sergeant’s advice, they left everything behind and began the unfortunate, difficult journey of homelessness, a journey they never imagined for themselves.

From that night on until they arrived at The Dwelling Place in November of 2018, this mother and daughter endured horrific experiences on the street and in city shelters. They were frightened, disillusioned, hungry, and physically assaulted. They felt ignored and invisible to the world surrounding them. After many months of struggle, they were led to The Dwelling Place by compassionate staff members of a local parish.

Through tears of joy, Esperanza states, “After reading my story, you may think that I have lost all hope in the future. Well, I am glad to say that thanks to The Dwelling Place, my mother and I have finally begun to have the hope we had lost. Through its amazing staff, this home provides a wonderful refuge from the horrors of homelessness. Here we find care for our immediate needs, healing from our trauma, and guidance that restores our confidence as we save for a new apartment and build a better future.”

Will you help us provide support for Rosa and Esperanza?

Their experience of homelessness is one among many that we encounter each day, compelling us to remain a safe-haven on 40th Street. Your support is urgently needed to keep our doors open and our services available.

Please consider offering a gift towards our 2019 Annual Appeal. You can make your gift using the enclosed response form and envelope or give online as directed on the response form.

Your contributions will assist us in covering our operating expenses: food, housekeeping supplies, utilities, maintenance, and will help cover salaries for our dedicated staff who provide around the clock care and presence.

Currently, our budget requires us to raise $30,000 – $35,000 a month to sustain our services. With your help we can meet this challenge and continue to be HOME for women like Rosa and Esperanza.

Thank you for taking time to consider this important appeal. Please be our ambassadors and share our letter among your circle of family, friends, and co-workers. Everyone’s help is urgently needed and deeply appreciated. All gifts will be acknowledged in our next newsletter.

The Dwelling Place celebrates 42 years of presence and service in 2019. We honor each of you who have been our faithful and generous partners in this mission of compassion and transformation.

Esperanza and her mom stand with all the women served in the past, the present, and those to come and offer their heartfelt gratitude. Hope is real for them because of your compassion and generosity.

With sincere appreciation,

Sister Joann Sambs, CSA