Towering well over 6 feet tall makes Kurt an imposing figure, but it doesn’t take long to realize he is a “gentle giant”. Diagnosed with autism at a young age, he has worked hard to overcome some of the mannerisms he exhibited as a child, such as lashing out in anger at unpredictable times. It caused him to be removed from almost every school he attended and babysitters refused to care for him. Mom finally home-schooled him in an effort to moderate his environment. It was a full-time job which meant actually losing the career that paid their bills. It also meant downsizing and reducing their costs wherever possible. His disability money covered the rent of their little apartment, but as costs rose over the years, their disability payments did not.
Forced to give up their apartment, they moved into their car and put all they owned in storage. Kurt needed routine and Mom did everything she could to keep things as normal as possible. She made sure he got to his job of collecting shopping carts a couple of hours a day and rented motel rooms when Kurt’s anxiety seemed to be elevating. A warm shower and watching sports on TV always had a calming affect, especially when his Dallas Cowboys won.
A year ago, Kurt and his mom moved into the Grace House, HART’s house for homeless adults. At that time, their car had broken down and mom was losing her vision, recently diagnosed with irreparable and painful retinal degeneration. They settled into the master bedroom where they were able to recuperate from months of the mounting stress from being homeless.
HART helped mom to navigate getting disability for her vision disorder and she and Kurt now have their own place. Kurt’s room is decorated with sports memorabilia and he especially likes his exercise bike. He has even learned the bus route to get himself to work. Mom’s dedication to her son has paid off, he is charming and loved by many. She can now rest and know he is thriving.
On May 2nd is the Big Day of Giving. Please give generously and be a part of helping the homeless of Elk Grove get off the streets and into permanent housing.