In spite of some pandemic-caused setbacks, SV will leave ORUCC’s Heart Room program in May as a wonderful example of what determined individuals can do for themselves even in tough times. SV was homeless when she and her boys entered Heart Room three years ago. With the boost provided by Heart Room’s income supplement and the passionate social workers who worked with her, she was able to rent a home near ORUCC – the first time she’d ever had a home in her own name! Through her hard work and persistence she made good progress toward an associate degree and improved her credit history. Right after Thanksgiving, SV and her three children moved into a larger apartment that, owing to public rent subsidies, promises to be their home for many years. Her oldest son (ten years old) is delighted to have his own room, while SV is better able to do her work from home.
Jim McNamara, Jill Westberg, Paul Patenaude, Peter Hoff, Donna Lillethun, Dave Myers, and John Lemke had the pleasure of getting to know this family a tiny bit as we helped move the family’s belongings out of the old two-bedroom apartment and into the brand new three-bedroom apartment. We got to know the kids, helped catch an escaped cat, and shared a lot of laughs and good spirits. We just might designate Jim Chief Moving Engineer for future moves we might get involved in – he became the expert in how to take things apart and actually put them back together again.
As Jill said, “It was so satisfying to finally meet SV and her 3 boys. Having previously only heard about her in meetings, in my mind she was little more than disembodied initials. Now I feel a connection to a loving mom and her 3 delightful sons. I got to hold the little guy who was, at first, wide-eyed staring at this strange woman. SV and I conversed about her new apartment and foods we like to cook. When we had finished loading the truck we hugged each other, both grateful for what we had received from each other.”