April Welcomings in Marin
Just two months after our last Marin Welcoming Home event we were able, once again, to set up four more Marin homes. On April 9, our phenomenal volunteers went into action—checking off and packing up items dropped off by our generous community and then setting up four households in the afternoon.
Our partners (who provide their services pro-bono) include:
Birch Circle Movers • City Carpets • Make It Home • North Bay Moving and Storage
St. Luke Presbyterian Church (drop off location) • United Markets (volunteer sustenance)
Read the residents' stories and see before and after pictures below
Roberta lives in Home 1. She was was referred to us by Marin Housing Authority’s Odyssey Program.
Roberta became hearing impaired as a young child, and lost significant vision in high school. Despite these challenges, she was able to become an educator for visually and hearing impaired children, as well as a Special Ed teacher. She married and had two children; she went through a divorce about eight years ago.
The following year, she suffered a traumatic head injury, which led to neurological issues. She lost custody of her kids and became homeless—moving between family, friends and associates, as well as in and out of hospitals. A couple years ago her vision worsened. She now has a social worker who is very supportive. She is so thankful to have a place of her own.
Roberta was so happy when she saw the transformation of her home ..."This must have taken so much work ... it looks so nice. The living room is perfect; blue and yellow are my favorite colors."
She was overjoyed to have a place of her own after years of couch surfing and living in group environments.
Donna lives in Home 2; she was also referred to us by Marin Housing Authority’s Odyssey Program.
Donna is a Marin County native, a mom and grandmother, who spent nearly three years without a home. Last year, she finally moved into her own apartment, but spent much of the year in and out of the hospital with health issues.
Because of her medical problems, she wasn't able to get her new home furnished. The apartment was sparsely furnished with items at the end of their useful life; there was no dining table or chairs or lighting.
Donna shares her living space with her caregiver and her grandkids when they visit.
She loves to cook and is so excited about having the simple basics in the kitchen, comfortable beds, and a place to share family meals and finally feel at home.
Donna was overjoyed when she arrived home. “God is going to bless you tremendously! Thank you for your passion of serving us and letting me live a much better life. I feel good when I walk in my house or lay down my beautiful bed. I can sleep at night knowing that I will be able to breathe better. Thank you”
Sheila lives in Home 3 and was also referred to us by Marin Housing Authority’s Odyssey Program. Sheila attended Redwood High School. She only saw her father twice after her parents divorced. Then she herself suffered an acrimonious divorce, losing her house and custody of the children.
She became homeless at 32. After 22 years on the streets and a few months in a shelter recently, she finally got her own apartment. She survived an attempt to hurt herself, which led her to realize she had something to live for.
Sheila now wants to help others who have had a traumatic childhood and abusive marriage as she did. She plans to volunteer with Homeward Bound, and says “I am eternally grateful and calm for the first time in my life right now, reflecting that I am off the streets at last.”
She added, “I want to thank everyone who is helping me get a second chance at life. Much love to you and bless you.”
Sheila was quite emotional when she saw her newly transformed home.
“I am so grateful that there are people like you at Welcoming Home who can provide so much that I could never afford,” she said between tears of joy and thanks. “I can’t tell you how much I feel blessed getting an apartment when I have been on the streets for so long. And not just an apartment, but one beautifully furnished. I feel like it’s someone else’s life. But it isn’t. It’s mine now. You guys are so wonderful, helping people get a chance at a better life. God bless you.”
Colleen lives in Home 4. A highly talented and interesting person, Colleen began her career working at a soda fountain and later at a bakery. She then trained as a cosmetologist, running a successful beauty salon for 16 years with her husband, traveling abroad to attend classes in the Sassoon method, while raising two children.
After that she switched to working in an antique store, where for 10 years she identified, researched and sourced pieces for the store.
Then, unfortunately, life took a bad turn and Colleen became homeless, living in her car,with her bird for four years until she was able to buy a trailer. Unfortunately, Corinne’s many years of standing for long periods and lifting heavy furniture began to take a toll; she soon had to use a walker.
She is so delighted to be able to move out of the trailer and into her own forever home.
Colleen teared up when she entered. "Oh my, this is so wonderful. I love how this looks… I love pink! … You’ve made this so homey for me… God bless you all!"
Our volunteers are the best!