Guest Spotlight, September 2017
written by: Marti Zontek
When you meet M*, she greets you with a warm welcoming smile. She, her daughter (15), and mother (94), were one of the first families to enter the Family Promise program in West Grove when it began in the fall of 2015. Her family is from Puerto Rico and came to the United States to escape a crisis situation. Family is very important to them. M also wanted to give her daughter the chance for a good education. “Education is very important, you know,” she said as we talked. A friend offered to host them when they arrived. However, circumstances arose which resulted in their being without accommodations.
“I never thought I would be homeless…I have worked hard all my life,” she said. M. is a cosmetologist. “I didn’t know what to do, and then Kennett Area Community Services told me about Family Promise. I don’t know where we would be without Family Promise.”
“Everyone at Family Promise was helpful and supported us. They helped us get my daughter into school.” You can hear the pride in her voice and see the Honor Student certificates proudly displayed in their living room. “Family Promise helped me to find an apartment as well.”
When asked what her hopes or dreams are, M. says she would like to continue her driver’s education and English classes. When her mother became ill, she stopped the classes to care for her until her mother died. It was a difficult loss for both, M. and her daughter. M. has developed some physical issues but, she is a determined woman who looks forward to getting stronger and finding work. “I am very good with money. I know how to shop and save.”
“I would like to thank Family Promise and all the friendly volunteers who have helped us.”
Ask M. what is her favorite thing about her home and she replies, “There is nothing like home. You feel free.”
A Bible verse that inspires her is: Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. She says, “I am a simple person from good people. God, He looks out for me.”
As other families who enter the Family Promise program, M. and her daughter want a better life and opportunities, and are willing to work hard for these goals.
M* used to protect confidentiality