Since its inception, the Ministry of Caring has provided thousands of services to those who are suffering from homelessness and poverty. Our emergency shelters provide a caring home to those who have no other place to turn to. Each shelter makes every effort to support those who are fighting against the obstacles that create poverty. Below is the story of Justin, a person who turned to one of our emergency shelters in a time of need. He has now progressed into transitional residency and fulltime employment. We are proud of his success and we’re glad to share his story.
“Out, out, brief candle. Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more; it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” – Macbeth, Act V, Scene V
Justin McCann recalls this quote from Macbeth when he reflects on his time at House of Joseph I, the Ministry of Caring’s emergency shelter for men. Frank Njoroge, a staff member at House of Joseph I, quoted this famous Shakespeare soliloquy while he was getting to know Justin and his story. “This quote prompted me to reflect on the transitory nature of life in this world,” said Justin. “It definitely resonated with me at the time.
Justin is originally from Liverpool, England. He came to the United States with his family in the late 1960s, eventually moving to Delaware when his father got a job at DuPont. He has been here ever since. After suffering some personal hardships in the past few years, Justin found himself in need of some help. He turned to House of Joseph I, a place that strives to help men become self-sustainable and independent.
Because residents come and go in a short period of time at House of Joseph I, Justin was able to meet a variety of people there. “I heard so many different stories from people about their backgrounds. It was interesting to see how people coped with their circumstances. Some people faced their situation head on. Some lived in the past. I realized that I needed to change my perspective and attitude.”
Justin found the support and encouragement he needed through the incredible staff and case managers he worked with at HOJI. “Jeremiah Thaara, my case manager, was very encouraging, humorous, and had many sage things to say. There were other motivating forces like Will Nelson, Darryl Wheeler, and Anne Mundy as well. They were all very friendly and helpful.”
After his stay at House of Joseph I, Justin felt unsure about what was next for him. The option that seemed best to Justin was the ongoing support of House of Joseph Transitional Residence, a transitional residence that provides affordable housing with other ongoing supports – including case management – that would help Justin regain his independence.
Along with being a resident at House of Joseph TR, Justin also works as a doorman at Sacred Heart Village, a local residence for low-income seniors. He is known at Sacred Heart Village for being very thoughtful and caring to every person he encounters. The manager of Sacred Heart Village, Sr. Pat Kerezsi, OSF, admires Justin’s demeanor. “Since his arrival several months ago, Justin’s pleasant disposition and high level of professionalism have not gone unnoticed,” said Sr. Pat. “He always greets residents by name and has a kind word to say to each of them. He is kind, considerate, responsible, and always shows up early for his shift. We are truly grateful and blessed to have him here with us.”
Justin is thankful for his time at Sacred Heart Village and the Ministry of Caring. They have both been a place of support for him, during a time in his life when he needed those comforts. “I would recommend the Ministry of Caring to anyone. It’s a place of hope.”
If you’re interested in supporting a program like House of Joseph I, the shelter is having a fundraiser on June 13th at Bella Vista Trattoria and Pizzeria, located on the Riverfront and in Pike Creek. For more information, check out our website. Even small contributions can make a difference. Support from you makes success stories like Justin’s a reality. Peace and Blessings.