Current Appeal

When Paige was fifteen, a devastating bicycle accident erased her childhood memories, leaving her with fragments so fleeting that she sometimes has trouble untangling dreams from real memories. She struggles with short-term memory and learning new information. But she finds ways to cope.

 After her college in Pennsylvania went bankrupt, Paige tried to find a new direction for her life by moving to Western New York to pursue a relationship.

 Within a week of her move Paige found her bags on the curb. Her finances had been exhausted. Jobless, penniless and without a place to stay, Paige called her mother in Pittsburgh, only to be told there was no room in her childhood home and that she should contact social services.

 Paige made her way to Buffalo alone and for the next two and a half years, she made a home beneath the bridge near the Amtrak station. But Paige wanted more for her life.

“I never begged for change,” Paige said. “If you depend on the kindness of strangers, you’ll find an easy fix and never move on. I wanted pets, a bed, a shower, shoes. I wanted to be out of the wind – it gets so windy under the bridge. All these things people take for granted.”

Around this time, Paige found her way to Friends of Night People. “I walked in and could feel the positive vibes,” Paige says. “They treated us with respect, so everyone treated (the volunteers) with respect, too. There weren’t any fights. Everyone was just nice.”

During her time on the streets, Paige frequented Friends of Night People for medical services, flu shots, clothing, and the food pantry. When she was interviewing for jobs — she took advantage of the shower and laundry facilities available at Friends and our volunteers helped her put together professional outfits.

 Today, Paige has a full-time job and an apartment.

 “Can I tell you my dream?” Paige leans in, a shy smile on her face. “I want to open my own shelter. I want it to be for people and animals.”

 Paige’s life is better because of you and others like you in our community. Our nutritious meal program, food pantry, and clothing closet provide essential resources, dignity and self- respect. These are the foundations for optimism and hope for the future.

 As Paige says, “You can’t let the past bog you down. If you feel it, you become it. I always wake up excited for what the new day will bring.”

 

Sincerely,

 

Joseph S. Heary
Executive Director

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Current Appeal