Tom & Lauren

Vicki Mickelson
October 28, 2018

Tom and Lauren came to Coeur d’Alene (CDA), Idaho with all their belongings stuffed in a U-Haul truck. They left Western Washington to get away from the drug culture they were living in and to make a fresh start in a new place. They were also running away from some warrants that were out for Tom’s arrest.

They arrived in CDA, and after a week they ran out of money. Having no more funds for their motel room, with all their belongings stored in a storage unit, and with no one to contact for help, Tom and Lauren began to spend their nights in the CDA graveyard. They had no money, no local contacts, no idea where to find local resources, no employment, and no roof over their heads. They were hungry, dirty, cold, and becoming increasingly desperate.

One day they were told by another homeless person about the 2nd Street Commons (a ministry of Kaleidoscope Community Services). Tom and Lauren were given directions to the Commons by their homeless acquaintance and they headed there immediately. When they got to the Commons they were greeted warmly by volunteers and were invited to eat a hot, nutritious meal.  This was their first full meal in over a week.

Over the next number of days (then weeks) Tom and Lauren were able to connect with resources through the 2nd Street Commons and the help of concerned volunteers. They were able to secure the gear they needed for living outside, a list of community resources, regular meals, regular showers, and a safe place to be out of the weather. They were also able to build relationships with caring volunteers giving their time through the 2nd Street Commons. These volunteers offered support and encouragement to them as well as practical advice on how to better their situation.

Through the parent nonprofit of the 2nd Street Commons, Kaleidoscope Community Services (KCS), Tom and Lauren were able to first find temporary crisis housing in a KCS owned motorhome in a local RV park. From there they accessed KCS resources to get into a mobile home in a local mobile home park. During this period of transition (roughly 8 months) they were regular visitors at the 2nd Street Commons where they had established a local group of people who had become their ‘family’.

Two years later, and at the present time, Tom and Lauren are both employed (Tom works two jobs and Lauren was recently promoted to a managerial position at her job).  Tom was able to clear up his legal issues, their mobile home is leased in their own names, they have their own vehicle, they have re-established contact with their family over in Western Washington, and both have been freed of their meth addiction.

While a great amount of their progress should be attributed to their own efforts, it all started with a referral from a fellow homeless person, a place to go, a warm face and a nutritious meal, a place to stabilize, and a wraparound family of loving and supportive volunteers at the 2nd Street Commons.


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