Except for his three years in the Army and another three in the reserves, the man had spent most of his adult life in prison.
Soon after being released, he found himself with no job, nowhere to live, and no friends to call. He was running out of hope.
That all began to change the day he walked into the office of Catholic Charities in Reading.
There he met Rob Laubenheimer, who works with veterans in need.
Laubenheimer knew instinctively that after prison, the man needed a place to call his own, not a place he shared with someone else. So he helped him find an apartment, and connected him with a community foundation that donated some furniture.
Next came a job, after the man answered a want-ad for a cook. It’s a 40-minute walk each way, so Laubenheimer is helping him through the process of getting a bus pass.
Over the course of a few months, the man has gone from being desperate and dependent to feeling more hopeful and more confident. He already has his sights set on a better job.
Catholic Charities helps anyone in need, regardless of their religion. The agency provides for immediate needs, but also focuses on helping people become self-sufficient, so they can care for themselves.
“The people of Catholic Charities reached out and grabbed my hand and helped me get on my feet,” the man says. “I had lost everything. They helped me put the pieces back together.”
“Because We Are Catholic” tells the stories of how the people of the Diocese of Allentown make a difference in the lives of others, bringing the Light of Christ to each other and to our community.