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Lantern House: Duane

Duane was in a situation he had promised himself he’d never be in. After the landlord sold his rental property, Duane and his son, Isaac, had nowhere to live and were left on the street. Between losing his home and the passing of his father, as Duane recalls, “it was a rough few months.” Duane is on full disability benefits and still suffers back problems as a result of an old on-the-job injury and multiple surgeries that followed. He did not have many options when looking for a new home.

Duane did all he could to find shelter for himself and his son, spending a lot of time at friends’ houses and even staying in a budget hotel, but none of these was a long-term solution. “I was at my wit’s end,” said Duane, unable to find a new home. Luckily, Isaac suggested they try the shelter at Lantern House, making him “the hero of the day” in his dad’s eyes.

At Lantern House, Duane found a place to stay, food to eat, and a support team like he had never imagined. “If it wasn’t for the staff, we’d be in a world of trouble,” says Duane. “They took a liking to my son, and made us feel like we were real people.” More than anything else, the kindness and respect with which he and his son were treated gave Duane the fortitude to continue his search for housing.

While staying at Lantern House, Duane and Isaac were also able to spend time together doing things they hadn’t been able to in a long time, like fishing and playing basketball. With their immediate needs met, their time at Lantern House brought them closer together.

After just two months, Duane was able to find a new home for himself and his son, and they have settled in comfortably. They will never forget the time they spent at Lantern House, and still stop by to visit friends and staff members. Duane can’t thank the staff at Lantern House enough for all the help he received when he most needed it.

Lantern House is located in Ogden and provides food, shelter, and survival essentials to anyone in need. Case management services are available for those who are ready to move toward more stable housing. United Way of Northern Utah is proud to provide grant funding to Lantern House to assist in filling this critical need for essential community services.

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