This is one of a series of stories about the nonprofit agencies that receive money from The Gazette/El Pomar Foundation Empty Stocking campaign that runs through the holidays.
Sitting in a "room no bigger than a postage stamp," Carole Newhouse learned how to ask for help.
"The Lord was really dealing with me with heart issues and pride," she said.
When a good friend became her intake officer, she swallowed her pride harder. "Oh brother."
About four and a half years ago, New-house's real estate business came to a standstill. "I had done everything I knew to do, but no doors were opening," she said. "I was walking the streets to find anything and everything."
She faced that for a year and a half.
"It was pure hell," she said.
Still, she learned a lot about herself, her heart and her pride.
"The only difference in these people that were on the street and me was that I had better clothes," she said.
Newhouse went to Mercy's Gate in search of rent and utilities assistance.
Mercy's Gate provides vouchers for gas, food and clothes to those in need, among other services.
Newhouse, a Realtor of 12 years, is now back on her feet and volunteers at Mercy's Gate to help others, focusing primarily on rent and utilities.
"I was once there in that position," Newhouse said. "The holidays are tough ... (they) bring out all the wounds and hurts and pains."
A few weeks ago she met with William, a 21-year-old rejected by his parents. "His father literally told him to get out because they couldn't afford him."
William went homeless for a year and a half.
"Now that kid has worked through school, he's getting a good job, he's got a car, he's living with a roommate," she said. "He gets it. He chose to beat the odds."
She knows from experience that sometimes receiving is more difficult than giving.
"If you want to receive help you have to ask."
Make a secure donation at www.fillanemptystocking.org. Call 476-1673 to make a credit card or stock donation. Make check payable to the Empty Stocking Fund and mail to P.O. Box 910942, Denver, CO 80291-0942. Like us on Facebook at EmptyStockingFund or follow us on Twitter @esfsprings.