Contributing Author: Katelyn Owens
Published: January 14, 2016
Family is the common theme at Triangle Community Center’s (TCC’s) co-sponsored housing program at Moore Place. One resident said it best: “Moore Place is more than just a shelter- it is a healthy home.” This is especially true during the holidays. Home and family are redefined at Moore Place with volunteers, staff, and residents coming together to create family dinners and spend time appreciating the makeshift family they support on day in and day out. Another resident said of their familial bond that:
“Whatever we have in surplus, we bring to the dinner table. My roommates and I have been able to discover our sense of belonging. We’ve developed a strong bond, and I am always happy to see their lives change. Since I started living here, I have seen residents move into their own apartments as many more have come to find a safe haven in their place.”
Many of the residents who have come through Moore Place have done so because their families had chosen to present them with obstacles or reject them altogether based on various things like their gender identity, sexual orientation, or HIV status. Some residents are unable to spend time with or reach out to their families.
Newcomers to TCC often do not realize that TCC co-sponsors a housing program. Having had a ribbon cutting in May with Mayor Rilling in attendance, Moore Place has been a huge help to the clients that have walked through TCC and MFAP doors.
This success is due in large part to the staff and volunteers who help the residents at Moore Place to thrive and grow. Every resident is encouraged to be self-sufficient and accountable to one another but to also seek out and utilize the resources that are available to them through TCC, MFAP, and other organizations.
Recently, Olivia Lincoln joined the MFAP team as a nutritionist who often helps out at Moore Place with meal planning and preparation. Volunteers often join her to prepare dinners together with the residents and staff. Olivia was responsible for coordinating nutritious holiday and Sunday dinners for Moore Place residents. She says the dinners shared at Moore Place are “so special, and the family atmosphere is inspiring.”
TCC and MFAP have seen many of their Moore Place clients become more self-sufficient and connected to their local community over this past year. While not every client is placed in Moore Place, TCC connects its clients to services in the area that can best suit their needs.
TCC Executive Director Anthony Crisci said, “This has been my favorite holiday season at TCC because I’ve been able to witness our case management program at work. We are housing those who need it, LGBTQ people are off the streets and celebrating the holiday season with people who embrace and celebrate them. There has been nothing more validating of donations and hard work by our staff, board, and volunteers, than the success of Moore Place and our clients’ personal growth.”
To find out more about Moore Place or to volunteer, please contact TCC@CTGay.org.