How Can You Help?
Stories of Hope
Even though homelessness can be a daunting and overwhelming
experience, there is hope. TCHC and its member agencies are working
hard to end homelessness and restore a sense of stability back into
every client that experiences homelessness in Tarrant and Parker
Counties. Here are success stories from clients who received
dental services when TCHC partnered with JPS.
With a bachelor's degree in sales and 25 years of experience,
Craig Barner lost his job when his mother became ill, and he stayed
home to care for her. Without a job, Craig struggled to make
house and medical payments. Eventually, Craig found himself with no
option but to put his mother in an assisted living facility, give
up his house, and turn to living in the streets. During this
time, Craig had already started to lose his teeth. When Craig
found a place to stay and work within the Union Gospel Mission he
only had 12 teeth left.
Upon scheduling a dental appointment with JPS, Craig
discovered he had periodontitis, something that had it been caught
earlier would have prevented him from losing his teeth.
Through JPS, Craig heard about the dental assistance provided by
the TCHC through the Direct Client Services Fund. After
working with a case manager, Craig applied for funding available
for dentures. After eight months, and many dental
appointments, Craig has now been fitted and is waiting for his
dentures to arrive.
"In sales, a smile is everything. Once I have my
dentures, I will have the confidence to be able to work directly
with people again."
In his youth, Peter Gray was a frequent user of drugs. Despite
not using for many years, the effect of the drugs took a permanent
toll on his teeth. While working with his case manager, Peter
heard about the dental services fund provided by TCHC. Looking to
restore confidence in his life, Peter applied for the
funding. After only eight weeks of dental appointments, Peter
now has a full, proud smile.
"It changed my looks completely. I can smile now and
talk without being self-conscious."
With two sons, a husband of 24 years, and citizenship in three
different countries, Heather Rahmine never could have predicted how
much her life would change in the passing of one moment.
After spending months in a coma from a car accident in Algeria,
Heather woke up to find that all of her teeth had been pulled from
her mouth due to an infection caused by the wreck. As a
result, Heather fought with depression for six months. It was not
until her youngest son came up to her with a set of plastic vampire
teeth and said "See Mommy, you can be happy again," that Heather
realized the impact the accident had on all of her
Four months ago, Heather flew to the United States to work on
getting her family citizenship. Living without her family proved
difficult, and Heather quickly found herself homeless. With the
help of her case manager, Heather heard about the denture funding
provided by TCHC. No longer than a month later, Heather
received her new dentures, and has a renewed sense of hope for what
the future holds.
"Life is much different now. I can smile and not feel
insecure. I thank God for my dentures every day."
In October 2008, I left a very abusive relationship. I decided I
wanted out and packed a car full and my cat and drove away, never
to look back. One thing I did not do was make a plan. I ended up in
Fort Worth. The first night and many more was spent in my temporary
home; my car.
The first week was scary, hopeless, but somewhere in me I was
determined. I immediately started looking for a job. At night I had
a place to park and sleep. Before long I had police checking on me.
I met a lady officer who told me about the Day Resource Center for
the homeless. When I went in it was late but that is where I met
Ruthie; a guardian angel. She told me about some of the resources
they offered but it was closing time so she said to come back
tomorrow. But before I left I noticed the showers and asked
about them and I knew there was hope. That night I told my cat that
we had some options. I knew that this was the right plan and thank
God that I found it.
The next day I took my first shower in awhile. The things you
take for granted. Anyway I met Ruthie at the front desk and got an
appointment with my caseworker, Jessica Grace. This is my other
guardian angel. She was the one I knew I had to open up with, so I
did. I could tell she cared for real. She got me a TB Scan Card so
I could get hot meals and some place to get clothes and a
The next day I landed a job. As time went on Jessica informed me
of a housing program called transitional housing. So I said sign me
up. I worked hard and kept receiving blessings. I got a brand new
pair of work shoes and a sleeping bag. All this time, the elements
outside were getting to me and my cat.
But when I did not know how much more I could take, I got the
news of my approval for housing. I began to look for a place and
was soon signing my lease. None of this would have happened had it
not been for the DRC. My first night was awesome. I noticed
every little detail of my apartment.
This story has been unbelievable. I have been in my apartment
since February 2009. I have faced some hurdles and the person who
writes this today is not the same person who entered the DRC back
in 2008. I used to believe that I was not beautiful, worth
anything, useful, or worth being a person who deserves respect. But
now I am a person who walks with her head high because I am all
those things. I have found myself with all the help of the DRC and
P.S. I will never forget where I have come from either.
Day Resource Center for the Homeless
A story that I would like to share is about a single mother and
her daughter. When I picked this client up on my housing
assistance program, my client had lost her daughter to the
grandparents due to her drug usage and mental
state. Afterwards, my client entered treatment successfully
and is now 3 years clean. After returning from treatment, I
was able to get her into a one-bedroom apartment. While in
this apartment she worked on getting her daughter back from the
Unfortunately, the grandparents had decided that they couldn't
handle the granddaughter any longer and they placed her in a home
for girls in Itasca, Texas. While the daughter was there my
client worked on getting an attorney to get back full custody of
her daughter. She worked diligently in showing the girls home
as well as the attorney and I, that she could raise her daughter
the right way this time. Furthermore, we went to court and the
judge awarded her full custody. It was the best day of my life
to see just how far and just how much my client did to get what she
wanted most in life, and that was her daughter back.
After that ruling from the court, we then moved her into a
two-bedroom apartment. My client and her daughter lived there
for another year until just recently I assisted them in moving into
a two-bedroom house off Hulen and within walking distance of
Arlington Heights High School, where my client's daughter will
attend next year. In addition, my client has the option from this
family to buy this home if she would like to. During all this
my client also graduated from a local beauty school and is now
doing hair at an upscale salon here in Fort Worth. I have seen
my client at her worse and now at her best.
I believe that if it wasn't for the compassion, understanding,
and dedication of case workers, some people would fall through the
cracks and just be lost in the system with no help and no way
Tarrant County Samaritan Housing (Samaritan House)