New program helps homeless

Michele Barnum

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There are many people in Cedar Rapids who do not have a home. Catholic Worker House is just one non-profit working to fix this problem.

A new program has started through the Catholic Worker House, it is called Catholic Worker House extension, also known as CWHx. With the help of House Manager Larissa Ruffin, there is a new shelter program designed specifically for single women and their children.

This new house will offer a home to four families for six months to one year. Depending on the room they stay in, the family will pay $450 to $600 per month, half of which goes into a savings plan.

At the end of their stay, they will receive the money in their savings account plus their damage deposit to help them in their future.

“CWHx is important to our community to offer this small step for our residents. This small time frame of six months to one year can be life changing. We want to help stop the cycle of homelessness,” Ruffin said.

There are several housing programs for single people in Cedar Rapids, however, there are few for single parent families, according to Ruffin. This new program is needed for the single mother families who require extra help and support. It gives them an opportunity to reduce their debt and plan for the future.

Members of Xavier’s English department prepare meals and donate to the Catholic Worker House multiple times a year.

“Everyone finds themselves, in some point of life, in need of other people’s assistance when they are going through a tough time. I think it is just one way we can give back to other people in the community,” English teacher Mrs. Jenny Augustine said. “You don’t have to know the person you’re helping out, but there’s just something about being able to do good for someone else when they are in a time of need.”

Donations are accepted year-round at the Catholic Worker House. If the donation is specifically for CWHx, add a notation on the donation.  They are in need of common household goods such as silverware, pillows, and kitchen towels. For more ways to help out  go to