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CFA: Family recovers from homelessness

| December 13, 2020 1:20 AM

As part of the annual Press Christmas for All Campaign, we share with readers the stories of the people applying for help. Here’s one of them.

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For “Paul,” falling off a roof turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

Really.

“Everything happens for a reason,” he said.

At the time, Paul worked framing houses. The fall at work broke a bone in his leg and crushed his heel, putting him out of work for months.

He had recently moved to North Idaho with his wife, who is blind, and their young daughter. The family was hopeful about a new life — but in the months after the accident, they lost their car and their home.

Still, Paul said they see it as a blessing.

“It led me to church,” he said. “It led me to Family Promise.”

Family Promise of North Idaho is a nonprofit organization that arranges for congregations to provide temporary housing and meals to families in crisis on a rotating basis. The program also helps families find stability through counseling, childcare, job search assistance and other services.

Paul said he was amazed at the willingness of the community to house his family and help them get back on their feet.

“It was extremely humbling,” he said. “You don’t have the chance to see the hearts of people unless you’re in a situation like that.”

The family became active in their newfound church community.

“I had to humble myself and drop down to pretty much nothing to have that peace in my heart that I have through the Lord,” he said.

With hard work and the support of Family Promise, the family has a vehicle and a place of their own. But some challenges remain.

When Paul had recovered enough to work, he went back to framing houses — and was accidentally hit in the face by a two-by-four. The impact chipped a tool and fractured some of his molars.

Dental work can be a major expense for any family, especially one recovering from homelessness.

Paul said he’ll be forever grateful for the compassion the community showed his family in their time of need. He’s determined to pay it forward and show that same goodwill to others.

“It transformed my heart,” Paul said. “I’ll never forget it for the rest of my life.”

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This is the 35th year Press Christmas for All has worked to brighten the lives of Kootenai County residents in need.

Each year, Press readers donate generously to the program. Every penny raised is distributed to Kootenai County residents. All overhead costs are covered by The Hagadone Corp.

The gift recipients are our neighbors who are struggling, including the elderly, disabled, homeless and mentally ill.

Many who seek assistance from Christmas for All are working, but living near or below the poverty level. The beneficiaries of Press Christmas for All are going to keep their dignity intact while the community provides a hand up to help get them back on their feet.

Press Christmas for All is managed by The Hagadone Corp., with assistance from CharityReimagined.Org. It is a legally recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit, run entirely by volunteers.

Please help. Make your tax-deductible donation today any of four ways:

• Mail a check to Press Christmas for All, 215 N. Second St., Coeur d’Alene, 83814

• Call The Press and make a secure credit card donation over the phone: 208-664-8176

• Go to cdapress.com. Click on Christmas for All 2020 at the top of the page.

• Drop off your check at The Press weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.: 215 N. Second St. in downtown CDA.

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Donors:

Henry and Ora Meyer; Susan Welch; Elizabeth Cook; Julia Aho; In memory of the Brandwold family; Bob and Nancy Thiessen; Randy and Jane Thomas, In loving memory of Karman Baker; Jim and Diane Zipperer; Deborah McDermott and Warren Middlemist; Joan Lewis; Alan and Mary Pettit; Ray and Jen Fisk; Silver Angels for Elderly; In memory of Ray G. Capaul; Graham and Betsy Crutchfield; Frances Love; Mary Button; Vicki and Emon Olson Jr.; Cheryl Marcheso; Lawrence and Cathy Kraus; Nova and Jack Miller; Peter Vandall; Russell and Sabey Grange; Linda Lewis; Ione Perry; Pat Dyke; Gloria Willard; Linda Crossman; Dick Wood; Runge Furniture Company; Linda and Tim Bedal

OVER $500

Carol Landis; Richard Moore; Cynthia Tallman; Gordon and Tina Sanders; Longwell and Trapp Architects