06/11/2022 – Welcoming Event – Marin County
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On Saturday, June 11th, Welcoming Home will again be at work, this time fully furnishing the apartments of four formerly homeless neighbors in Marin. Read about the individuals we’ll be helping below.
Home 1 is where Miranda lives. She was referred to us by Gilead House. Miranda fled from an abusive husband and oppressive government in Nicaragua just eight months ago to find a better life for herself and her sons, aged 14 and 9. Gilead House gave them a fresh start; they are now excited to transition to their own place. Miranda was formerly a nutritionist at a local hospital back home and is currently studying English at College of Marin so she can eventually resume her career here. The two boys are doing great in school and are fans of basketball and football. They all have been so touched by the outpouring of kindness since their arrival.
Home 2 is Perry’s; he was referred to us by Homeward Bound of Marin, where he has been in transitional housing for several months. Perry is a Navy veteran. After leaving the Navy, for many years he was a chef in well known restaurants in San Francisco. However, he unfortunately suffered a debilitting injury which rendered him unable to continue working the required long hours on his feet. He ended up becoming homeless. Perry is looking forward to leading a quiet life in his new one bedroom apartment. Once settled, he hopes to find a part-time job. And maybe also finally learn to play the bass, which has always been his dream.
Magdalena, a single Mom of two children-a young boy and teen girl-lives in Home 3. Magdalena came to this country newly married and in love, but with limited English language skills. Her husband was very controlling, not letting her attend English classes or carry credit cards. She got a job as a house cleaner, and a second job as a dishwasher, working every day from 7am – 10pm, handing her money over to her husband as he demanded. Eventually she and her daughter became the subjects of his abuse, with the resulting physical and mental health issues for the family. Finally, Magdalena got a restraining order and began her new life. Because her husband had ruined her credit, she could not find a landlord willing to rent to her so she and the children had to sleep in friends’ apartments for the next five years. Most recently, they were connected with Gilead House and took refuge in their family shelter. Now, the very determined and hard working Magdalena has just completed her AA degree, has strong English language skills, and will begin her bachelor’s degree program at university in the fall. She and her children are thrilled to be moving into their own apartment, out of the shared living environment of the shelter. Magdalena is striving to build back her credit and give her children the security and stability that they deserve.
Home 4 is Anthony’s apartment. He came to the U.S. as a young 24-year-old, full of excitement and hope at his future prospects of a new life in the big melting pot, leaving behind family and a country that was going through difficult times. He moved here to the Bay Area and shared an apartment with an old friend from home. Things were going fairly well; he had work, varied jobs, but his friend unfortunately moved back to their home country and had to give up the apartment. Anthony moved many times after that, always being a roommate, never being able to get his own place. With no credit history it was impossible to get a rental. He slept on people’s sofas and was even on the street at times. He now has shared custody of his 3-year-old son and his own name on the lease. This has been absolutely huge for him. He now has a place where he can nurture his son and teach him to be kind and tolerant, the family values that he grew up with. Despite setbacks, Anthony is an incredibly positive person, never seeing hmself as the victim, just being resourceful and moving forward. This apartment now gives him the stability and a permanent address required, as he puts it, “for a good job and the chance to build a good credit history finally”.
We were able to give each of the four individuals/families a “starter kit”, including a new bed, new sheets and towels, temporary folding table and chairs, a couple of floor lamps (there is no overhead lighting in the apartments) and some basic kitchen items, all donated by previous donors, to keep the residents going until we are able to fully furnish and equip their homes on June 11th.