My mother meant the world to me! We shared a home and I was employed by the state to be her caregiver. So when she died in August of 2008 I lost everything—my job, my home, and most importantly, my very best friend. Since I no longer had a job I was soon unable to pay the rent. I turned to my family for help. However they were all dealing with their own problems. The best I was offered was the floor at my nephew’s apartment for a couple of weeks while I begged for donations to give my mother a proper burial.
I was a riding the bus in downtown Los Angeles, feeling alone and abandoned, when I struck up a conversation with a woman sitting next to me. Little did I know at the time, this lady was about to change my life. She told me about a woman’s shelter called Good Shepherd Center. I called the number she gave me and spoke with Sr. Hannah, the case manger. The next day I was admitted into their six week program. It was September 2008.
On the way to meet Sr. Hannah I passed a beautiful building which I later learned was the transitional shelter of Good Shepherd Center. Taking a moment to appreciate this lovely building, I prayed to God to let me live in a place as nice and as safe as this. At the time I had no idea where I was going. I did not know that this was to become my second home on the path toward self sufficiency. This was the first of many miracles that I experienced during my stay at GSC.
When I entered GSC I had nothing and I was ready to make a change. I paid close attention to the advice and the opportunities that the staff at Good Shepherd Center offered me. I attended the life skills workshops, took computer classes, and attended the residents meetings. I read the self-help books provided by GSC, attended the book discussion groups, the job club, and a peer facilitated support group. I am so grateful for all the classes and activities provided by Good Shepherd Center.
Through the employment program, I obtained a job at an adult day care center in a job training program, where I am still employed today. They have me doing a variety of things; from receptionist, to food preparation and serving the residents of the senior day care center. I am sure that once I complete the program I will get a salary increase and be able to improve my lifestyle even more.
I moved into my own apartment in August 2010, nearly two years after entering Good Shepherd’s program. Without the assistance I received from the sisters and the staff, I don’t know where I would have ended up. They helped give me a new start on life. My greatest pleasure today is that I am able to have my grandchildren spend the weekend with me in my new home.