Linda’s Story

No matter the circumstances that direct someone to Council of Churches of the Ozarks (CCO), each guest who visits CCO’s programs – like the Safe to Sleep women’s shelter, is met with grace and compassion.

CCO’s team possesses significant expertise in balancing hard life choices with the realities of a broken system that is challenging to navigate. Personal responsibility has to be weighed against real life obstacles to safety and security.

Linda was a guest at Safe to Sleep 5 years ago, and went on to find permanent housing through the help of the CCO team.After a while at this property, Linda’s lease was up. By budgeting carefully, she was able to find another home that allowed pets! Linda was thrilled and things were going well until her rent increased unexpectedly.  As a sixty-five-year-old retiree, Linda was on a modest fixed income. After juggling expenses for three months, she realized she would have to move out or face eviction, which would make it even harder for her to find new housing.

For the second time in five years, Linda was homeless.

Fortunately, there was somewhere she could go for help. Linda was so embarrassed to have to return to Safe to Sleep that the first thing she did was apologize to her case manager.  She felt she had failed. Instead of reproach, Linda heard she was safe, she was loved, and there was no time for regret.

Together with her guest advocate, Linda started working on applications for affordable housing. With the help of the CCO team, Linda is once again housed and making progress toward her goals. She continues to receive support through several CCO programs, including the Crosslines Food Pantry, and is working with a case manager to navigate the pathway from scarcity to security. You made a difference for Linda!