In Nov. 2010, Ed Roskowski’s bills were piling up quicker than he could pay them. As a single father of three boys, he knew he needed something to change. Facing eviction, Roskowski began looking anywhere he could for help. He discovered GAMES, a program for the homeless at Meg’s House, and just a little over two years later became a homeowner.
GAMES, which stands for Greenwood, Abbeville, McCormick, Edgefield and Saluda, is a two year transitional program aimed at taking someone who is homeless or in imminent danger of becoming homeless and providing them with the tools necessary to become self-sufficient.
“Our goal is to move them in, move them up then move them out,” said Rebecca Abrahamsen, HUD case manager and grants coordinator for Meg’s House.
While in the program, GAMES provides participants with a place to live at various locations throughout Greenwood County while providing support services to help them transition out of the program. Some of those services include referrals to other agencies, budgeting classes and life skills classes.
According to Abrahamsen, Roskowski took advantage of everything the program had to offer.
“Ed (Roskowski) was an easy client to work with,” Abrahamsen said of the new homeowner. “He worked, he took care of his kids and he worked towards goals. We are very proud of him.”
Roskowski’s journey to home ownership may have ended in a rose garden, but the path definitely did not go through one. He moved to Greenwood in July 2009 with his three boys, Dylan, age 10, and twins Jacob and Luke, age 9. He lived with an extended family member until Nov. 2009 when he got an apartment. Over the course of the next year, his bills began piling up as he struggled with the many challenges of being a single father.
On the verge of eviction and having his power cut off, Roskowski reached out to GAMES in Nov. 2010. He was accepted into the program and continued to work and raise his boys. Without the stress of being homeless, Roskowski was able to focus on improving life for his boys. He applied for and received the help of Habitat for Humanity. As part of that process, Roskowski volunteered hundreds of hours working on his home and a number of others, a practice he continues to this day.
Roskowski and his boys moved into their new home in December and had their official closing on Jan. 14. He explained that hard work, combined with the assistance of the many programs in the Greenwood area, helped through his journey from homelessness to home ownership.
“I was always taught to work hard and I always have,” Roskowski said. “If you try, people will help you. If you want stuff in life, you have to go get it. No one is going to give it to you.”