Before the quarantine hit there were many people we wanted to help. We had big bold plans to secure additional housing. Our existing residents started businesses built on dreams of helping more people. Then COVID-19. Plans changed, but the people’s needs have not. In fact, now there are more problems for Venezuelans. Without work and with severe housing discrimination, people are on the streets.
People like Rafael. He’s a friend of a friend with a heart built to love, but it has not come without enduring hard times. Rafael had housing insecurity before the quarantine started, sometimes only finding shelter in a car or on a gas station floor at night. As the military-enforced quarantine started and with no way to work, it wasn’t long before Rafael found himself homeless again, but this time fearing arrest if he was found outside after curfew. He was sleeping at the park down the street and surviving on whatever food he could scavenge from the trash when he called us to ask for help. We were fortunate to have shelter and food to offer – two basic necessities that are becoming harder to secure as the pandemic continues. We offered him a place to stay because nobody should be sleeping in a park and everybody needs to eat.
We, along with Rafael, are only eating from the generosity of your hearts – thanks to your donations we still have roofs over our heads, food on the table, and clothes (and diapers) on our backs. Please consider if you have something you can share – you are all we have.