Stories of Support, Hope & Change

Each year the Beth-El Center changes many lives. Below are just a few for your reflection. If you are inspired by these stories, please Donate to Beth-El Center Today!

"I never saw myself as someone who would be displaced."

Kamilia Norfleet, founder and CEO of iCare Diaper Bank, started this non-profit business last fall when a vision came to her about helping out moms in the community. During COVID, she became aware of the many struggling single parents and grandparents who couldn't afford access to an adequate supply of diapers for their babies.

Resourceful and determined, Kamilia began her mission of helping and nurturing families in need by providing these basic essentials.

To understand Kamilia's motivation and strength to start this business, it's important to take a look at what she's been through and has accomplished in the past few years.

Kamilia is a former resident of the Beth-El Center, having stayed in the shelter for just two months from December 2018 to January 2019. As the single mother of two sons, now ages 10 and 5, Kamilia unexpectedly lost her nonprofit job when a new company took over and her contract didn't get renewed. [ more ]

A Father and Son’s Plight with Homelessness

Stephan, a former Beth-El Center shelter resident, has a story that is very different from most other men who experience homelessness. He and his son, Jullien (who was four at the time), together experienced the trauma and difficulties of not having a place to call home.

Jullien's mother, who struggled with substance abuse, left him when he was two years old. Stephan, knowing he would always be there for his son, became a single dad. "Being a dad has made me a better person but I'm still learning. My uncle once told me that I need to have patience in order to be a good dad, so I've learned to be patient," says Stephan. [ more ]

From Homeless to Housed During COVID

Kevin found himself homeless in late 2019. His problem with alcoholism resulted in his divorce, isolation from his adult children and his homelessness. During this time of despair, he spent several weeks wandering the streets, occasionally finding refuge at the Milford Library.

Once he found his sobriety, Kevin was then referred to the Beth-El Center and spent 3-4 weeks staying at the Center's No Freeze Shelter while working at a Mexican restaurant as a dishwasher. Even though the shelter closes at 10 p.m., Kevin said the staff always let him in later after he finished work and made sure he was safe. He was able to use the shelter's showers and received clothes and toiletries while staying there. [ more ]

Acceptance, Respect and Understanding Found at Beth-El Center

Jason Hurley was trying to get back on his feet after overcoming problems with drug and alcohol addiction.  He was clean but homeless and living in his car with his dog Patch.

Through 2-1-1, Jason came to stay at the Beth El Center.  Identifying as a transgender man, Jason found safety, security and acceptance at the Center. In Jason's previous experiences in rehab, his identifying as a man wasn't understood or respected.  "My stay at the Beth-El Center was a life changing experience for me" ... [ more ]

A Positive Attitude and New Beginning Moves Homeless Mother Forward

In 2019 PraiseRejoice and her two children came from their home state of California to Connecticut to help out relatives who were living in the Waterbury area. PraiseRejoice had been depressed because she felt trapped in her current living situation and decided she needed a new beginning. With just a small savings and a Section 8 voucher, the single mother and her two young boys ages 8 and 2 flew to CT. Unfortunately, not long after she arrived, her family members lost their home where she was staying ... [ more ]

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