Nora and her family live in Home 1; they came to Marin in 2016 and were referred to us by Bay Area Community Resources.
After finding affordable housing, this family experienced flood and water damage that literally destroyed everything they had. They finally moved to a new apartment but it was totally empty.
Their five year old son really likes school and loves to draw and paint. He's super curious, asking questions about everything, and he has a huge imagination.
The family feels at home in Marin; they love to walk in nature and cook new dishes together.
Very special thanks to Rodef Shalom 5th Grade Sunday School for helping to purchase a brand new bed for the boy. He was so excited when he saw his "new room and "new" bed.
Vanessa, Carlos and their two young children, 4 years and 2 years, are in Home 2. They were referred to us by Adopt a Family Marin.
They came from Peru, where Carlos was a taxi driver. Life there was becoming increasingly dangerous and violent. He was perceived as being rich and was attacked and beaten on more than one occasion. Terrified for the safety of their family, they made their way to the U.S. and have been living in a shelter where the maximum stay is 12 months.
They were struggling to find an affordable apartment. Finally, with the help of their very supportive Case Manager, they found a place. The Case Manager connected them with the owner of the apartment, who was very moved by their situation and really wanted them to succeed here. Both parents are working as line cooks and have childcare when their shifts overlap.
Despite everything this young family has been through, they are incredibly positive and the children are just happy kids!
“I’m so happy because you’ve made my children so happy” said Vanessa. The two kids ran from room to room excitedly discovering everything we had placed in their new home. Carlos sat in his new recliner, tears in his eyes, watching his delighted family.
His wife told us “This is like a dream, I never imagined anything like this. Everything is so beautiful! Thank you from the bottom of my heart!”
Home 3 is where Matt lives; he was referred to us by Marin Housing Authority.
Matt worked two jobs as a carpenter when his daughter was young so he could pay child support. He lived in a trailer for nine years and when he lost that, he waited a very long time to get into assisted housing.
He became unable to work due to an injury and finally got placement in a shelter. Unfortunately, he was harassed and robbed by one of the other residents there. They even stole his dentures, which had taken him three years to save up for.
Luckily, Matt's social worker found him a small apartment. He loves art and music and is so happy to have his own place. He was beyond thrilled when his brand new bed was delivered to him.
Walter lives in Home 4 and was referred to us by Homeward Bound of Marin. He is a veteran who was born in the North Bay, where he spent most of his life.
Walter was very close with his mother, who died of lung cancer in 2019. His only job was caring for her and when she died, he was devastated. That was when he decided he needed a change of pace, so he moved to Alaska to be with his only niece.
He quickly found that the winters were too cold there, so he moved back to the Bay Area, where he became homeless after not being able to keep up with the high cost of living; he also struggled to find work.
After being connected with VA services he was able to get a case manager who helped him find housing and resources. He had been living on the streets for the past 10 months and is so excited to finally have a safe place to rest and to call home.
Walter walked into his new space and was instantly brought to tears. He just kept saying, “Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow.” He then asked us what he could do for us; and at that point there was not a dry eye in the room.
Walter has been a Marin County native for the last 70 years; we wanted to do him justice by not only giving him what he needed, but what he wanted. As a US Air Force veteran, lover of flying kites, mountain biking, and the color sky-blue, we wanted to surround him with all things that make him happy and content.
We sat down with Walter after he saw his new space, which is when he let us know he had crashed his bike the evening before the Welcoming Day (Saturday). By Tuesday, we were able to deliver a previously-loved bike from one of our volunteer's Dad, who is no longer able to ride it. When we went to deliver the bike to Wallace, he had shaved his beard, stating that he had a new start in life and wanted to look the part.