This is the second part of a series of articles showcasing the many ways the annual Archbishop’s Catholic Appeal enables and furthers the divinely-instated mission of the Archdiocese of Denver.
Three years ago, Karie Ann King had an epiphany.
“I decided to change my life,” she said. “I decided to fully surrender my life to the Lord and give everything that I have to him. By doing so, I’ve been able to straighten out my life. I’ve been able to see more clearly.”
After a period of homelessness and hardship, King and her two-year-old daughter, Raquel, sought the services of Samaritan House, a Catholic homeless shelter located in the heart of Denver, and part of which is paid for by the Annual Archbishop’s Catholic Appeal. Her story serves as the inspiration for the theme of this year’s appeal, “Because of You.”
“I was a victim of the streets, I was a victim of homelessness, but I’m not a victim of life. I called the Lord, and he answered my prayer,” King said. “He’s given me you to be strengthened. Because of your support and your generosity, it’s made me a better person today. Because of Samaritan House, I am able to go home to my home. I am not a lost person, I am not a person without hope. I’ve got everything I could possibly want.”
King had been living a life on the run. A series of bad decisions left her broken and with a felony record. She ran from the law, always looking over her shoulder, and ended up living on the streets for a time. It was on those streets, on a city block in Oregon, that God found King, lifted her up and made her whole again.
“I was scared straight. God humbled me on that city block,” she said.
Since then, her life hasn’t been the same. She moved back to Colorado with her parents, turned herself in and spent four months in jail. She was released with two years’ probation, and is now on unsupervised probation.
Living with her parents was a cramped ordeal, she said. They all lived together in a small apartment, and King knew that she needed to move out. However, she had no other place to go, and living on the streets with Raquel wasn’t an option. She reached out to Samaritan House, and they offered her a room.
King’s time at Samaritan House has been fruitful, she said. Samaritan House helped her to find a job at a local restaurant, and with Samaritan House’s savings program, King is able to save most of her income. She takes great pride in her work, she said, and hopes to work her way up management.
King said she’s at a place where she is both humbled and broken, and she feels that right where God wants her to be.
“It’s a place where I’m going to be rooted, and I’m going to be rooted with the strong root. That’s what Samaritan House has done for me,” she said.
King is extremely grateful for the staff at Samaritan House and Margery Reed Daycare, where Raquel stays while King is at work. The work these organizations and others within the Archdiocese of Denver do is made possible each year through generous donations to the Archbishop’s Catholic Appeal.
“The people that help with these organizations are truly giving from their heart,” King said.
To hear more of Karie’s story and to donate to the Archbishop’s Catholic Appeal, visit archden.org/almsgiving.