Byron woman helping people at Miss Carly’s find homes

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ROCKFORD (WREX) – One year ago, Kathleen Combs worked behind the front desk at the Byron Park District.

Then she found Miss Carly’s on Facebook and reached about how she could help the cause.

“I showed up one day and never left,” said Combs.

“I’ve always wanted to do what I do now, but I just didn’t really have the connections.”

Combs quit her job at the park district to volunteer at Miss Carly’s.

She’s spent the last 9 months dedicating her time to connecting people with who they need to get back on their feet.

“You have this disability, okay let’s connect you with so and so or oh you’re a veteran, we can connect you with so and so. It’s really trying to get them into housing,” said Combs.

The latest product of her work is Todd Greer.

He has been homeless for the last four years and as of last week, he’s moved into an apartment of his own.

Thanks in large part to Combs and her non stop effort.

“So I’ll have shelter and she’s been driving me around and taking care of me,” said Greer.

“She’s an angel. She’s an angel from heaven.”

Others working with Miss Carly’s appreciate the hard work combs puts in, making a true bond with the people she is trying to help.

“She’s very comfortable to be around and she’s very easy to trust and people trust her,” said Miss Carly’s volunteer Rhonda Perez.

It’s made Miss Carly’s feel like a second home not just to Combs, but her two sons as well.

They are often there with their mom to see and learn how to care for others.

“My kids being able to see how other people live and how other people aren’t always as lucky,” said Combs.

When Miss Carly herself, Carly Rice, was asked about Combs, she praised her work ethic as invaluable to the organization.

“”She’s a juggernaut. She’s an unstoppable force. She found something that not only does she love to do and is passionate about, but she’s good at. She connects with people on levels that I don’t always connect with people,” said Rice.

Rice, a former Inspiring 815 recipient, applauds Combs’ ability to help people in Rockford even from her home in Ogle County.

“She’ll drive all the way from Byron to Rockford just to give someone a phone card. She’s just amazing. I can’t say enough good things about her.”

The ability to serve others is something Combs has always been passionate about her whole life and finds her new career to be rewarding.

“This is what makes me feel complete.”

“It’s like I’ve found what was my calling, This is my calling. This is what I was meant to do.”

Combs still lives in Byron as of now but hopes to move to Rockford soon to have quicker access to the people she assists.


Evan Leake

Evan Leake

Multi-Media Journalist

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