As a part of The Landscape data collection process, the Foundation also compiled a number of stories from community members who have been impacted by the focus areas. This is one of the stories that represent the lived experiences of people who reside in the Omaha-Council Bluffs area.
In a matter of several months, Geo lost his business and home and found himself living in a friend’s shed. With a spirit of resiliency and hope, Geo shares how income loss and homelessness can affect a person’s physical, mental, and spiritual health.
George “Geo” LaPole, owned an antique business in South Omaha, and when he lost his business, he lost everything. Struggling with depression and other health concerns, he was forced to make some difficult decisions. Should he spend what little money he had on his hospital bills, monthly medications, healthy food, or a place to live? The choices were difficult ones and only exacerbated the issues he was already dealing with.
Not accustomed to being on the receiving end of things, he started volunteering at a food pantry in an effort to fill his free time and pull himself out of the funk. When the pantry reached a hand out to him, he said yes to their offer to help him out with food, health resources, and rent assistance—and soon joined their employment program too. With a bolstered spirit, Geo came to the realization that everything was going to be okay. In fact, he’s more content than he’s ever been.