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Filling the Gap – Rikhea’s Story

Dear Friends and Supporters,

Grace at the Green Light’s 6th year brings growth and new community partnerships. We are thankful for all of our supporters, old and new, for it is through your support that we are able to make a difference in the lives of the homeless in New Orleans.

This year brought many new volunteers who helped us serve over 26,000 meals to those living on the streets. We continue to do street outreach, meeting the homeless where they are. We passed out over 40,000 bottles of water this year. Our Going Home program has proven to be a much needed resource in our community. We provided over 600 bus tickets this year reuniting homeless individuals with their loved ones.

Filling the Gap — Rikhea’s Story

Last January, we received a desperate call from Rikhea. A single mother of three young children, Rikhea was living out of a hotel and her funds had run out. She came to New Orleans to visit her parents, hoping to build a life here for her family. Rikhea enrolled her children in school and worked hard to pursue job opportunities in the City. Unfortunately, when none of those opportunities came through and her family was evicted from their housing, she was left living in a motel, struggling to figure out what to do. Rikhea decided that the best thing for her family would be for her to return to Minnesota and stay with her brother while she could get back on her feet. Unfortunately, no one in the family had the funds for she and the children to get back to Minnesota. This is when Rikhea learned of our Going Home program. Searching the internet, Rikhea and her brother in Minnesota discovered our website and learned of the help we provide for those who are homeless and stranded to assist them in reuniting with their loved ones. Rikhea called us and, after we confirmed that her brother was willing to take the family in while they got back on their feet, we met up with Rikhea at the bus station, gave she and the kids food for travel, and provided bus tickets for them to get home.

We recently had the opportunity to follow up with Rikhea and her family–visiting with them in Minnesota. Rikhea and her three children are thriving back home. The children are attending school or daycare and Rikhea is working as a personal care assistant at a nursing home. Not only is Rikhea working full-time, she is in school to be a nurse. She has been able to move out of her brother’s house and rent a home of her own in a lovely neighborhood where the children enjoy riding their bikes. Rikhea is forever grateful as she says, without the help of our Going Home program, she truly doesn’t know where she would be. Did you know that we are the only agency in the Greater New Orleans region that offers this assistance to homeless or stranded persons? Because of supporters like you, we are able to reunite families and give people a chance. This holiday season, will you make a donation to continue supporting our Going Home program? An average bus ticket and food bag for travel costs $250 per person. Your support of our Going Home program is crucial to us continuing these services. Will you fill the gap in homeless services? We thank you for your consideration and appreciate your support.

Peace and Love,

W. Christopher Beary
Founder/Board Chair

Sarah Parks
Executive Director

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