Our Stories

William A. Burnard (Bill)

William A. Burnard, known in the community as “Bill,” was born in California in 1945. He moved his family to Newton, Utah in 1983 and worked as a butcher both out of his home and then later on at Smith's Marketplace on 400 N. in Logan. He was also heavily involved in the Cache Valley Cruise In Association and loved participating in the event each year.

Due to a workplace injury requiring multiple tendon surgeries, he was no longer able to work in his trade and chose to go back to college at the age of 51. Bill graduated with a Bachelors of Social Work from Utah State University in 2000 and was hired as the first Director of the Cache County Children’s Justice Center. He was instrumental in the process of getting the program up and running in our community. 

 In 2002, Bill sustained another injury from a home remodel project and was prescribed opiates by his doctor and started to overuse the medication. His marriage began to deteriorate and his mental health severely declined. He struggled with substance use and eventually received a DUI. Additionally, legal issues prevented him from leaving the state to receive housing support from his adult children. Because of these challenges, he ended up living out of his car and died by suicide in February 2003. 

“My Grandpa was an advocate for abused children. He gave so much of himself to our community. His story illustrates how life’s challenges can cause people to struggle in ways that they never could imagine. Establishing a warming center will save lives by providing a safe, warm, place for community members to take refuge during the coldest nights of the year.”

-Nicole Burnard

The James Family

“No one ever expects that they will become homeless in their life. No one plans on food insecurity, abusive relationships, money troubles due to building medical problems, and the ebbs and flows of feeling hopeless in an ever changing and demanding world. No one plans on loss. Loss of love. Loss of health. Loss of security. No one plans for disaster. Not even me.

My name is Krystina. I grew up hopeful, full of dreams, and ambitions. I joined the Army out of high school, and planned to do big things with my life. I wanted to help others. I never could have anticipated the direction my life would take. I met someone, got married, and planned on starting a family. Then, I lost my first child unexpectedly due to complications near the end of my pregnancy. My life took a drastic turn in not only the days, but years following. 

My husband and I had 3 more children, and each year he grew more controlling and abusive towards us. I was struggling emotionally, because I never gave myself the time or emotional space to grieve the loss of my first son. I worked full time, but money was always out of my control. I was trapped, emotionally, financially, and what felt like physically. I wanted to leave, but I didn't know how. I didn't know where I could go, who would help me. I had nothing.

After years of living in fear I finally found enough strength and courage to go. I spent time at CAPSA, seeking help to find balance and stability. It was hard to work and be a mother full time, with little support from the outside. The family I have helped where they could, but had more than enough of their fair share of struggles. I have always felt like I was living right in the middle of barely surviving and sinking. And everywhere I ran, he followed. Always leaving threats, I never felt safe enough to be comfortable.

I began to develop health issues that left me nearly debilitated. Between good days and bad, there were times I couldn't even get myself out of bed. I lost my job and was unable to keep up on the bills that continued to pile in. My kids and I became homeless, and I never felt like more of a failure. I was embarrassed. I was ashamed. And felt like I had nowhere to turn. We slept between hotels and the car more times than I even want to admit. I feel blessed that it wasn't during the winter, because I don't even know what we would have done. It was the most hopeless I have ever felt. And I want to do what I can, to assure that people don't end up where I was. I want to give people hope.” - Krystina James