CAMBRIDGE (CBS) – Central House in Cambridge could use some holiday cheer. The funding for two crucial programs is coming to an end, making this an especially difficult time of year for the residents of this low income housing.

“I lost pretty much everything with my mental health issues,” said Richard Bibeau, who has lived at Central House for just over a year.

The low income housing provides a place to live for 128 previously homeless men.

“It’s been a life saver,” Bibeau said.

Bibeau is grateful for the roof over his head, but he says the programs they offer- like art therapy and access to the YMCA – are really helping to turn his life around.
“I lost 25 pounds trying to lose more, it’s been really good it got me out of my shell got me out of the house talking to people,” Bibeau said.
But, the future of both programs is at stake. The gym membership runs out at the end of December. A generous $1,000 donation will keep the art program alive for just another two months.

“Our primary focus is to provide housing and the onsite support services these are technically extras but when you think about addressing people’s health wellbeing and loneliness those are not extras,” said Karin Cassel, Director of Fund Development at Caritas Communities.

The timing is also tough. The holidays can be a hard time of year for many of the residents.

“A lonely time we try to do as much for the residents as we can because sometimes we’re the only family they have, knowing these things are going to end it’s traumatizing for some of these people,” said Toni LaRosa, property manager of Central House.

“You’re going to have a lot of people that go back into their shells,” said Bibeau.

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