Meet two Helping Hands clients who went from
homeless to having a place to call home
Sienna says; "Welcome to my home, come on in"...
That’s the greeting Sienna offers proudly as she swings open her apartment door. She moved in a week before Thanksgiving and the day before her 37th birthday making her feel, in her words; “like a kid unwrapping a present”.
Prior to November, many of her evenings for the last few years were spent at our shelter. But, after much hard work, overcoming a past that included being a victim of domestic violence and sexual assault, fighting her drug and alcohol addictions, and living on the street she has qualified for our Permanent Supported Housing Program.
Sienna, most definitely, is a survivor.
Her next few weeks will be spent getting settled in and adding some personal touches to her apartment, maybe even a few accessories in her favorite colors of pink and purple. She also includes household basics on her shopping list such as; a garbage container, kitchen utensils and to add to the coziness of her living room; an end table or two. Her budget is very tight, but the professional staff at Helping Hands is assisting her in managing the paychecks from her job at a local restaurant that she rides the Springfield Mass Transit bus to and from.
She admits her life has been a road filled with tough choices. In fact, she’d like to have the chance to use her past experiences to help others.
One decision she stands by fully is the
open adoption of her now nine year old
daughter (she receives regular updates &
photos from the loving family). And, she’s
grateful she has been able to maintain
contact with her older twin daughters
as well as a new grandson.
Her next goal? Meeting the little guy in
person and she’s one step closer with
the help of our program.
Sienna says confidently; “for many holidays and birthdays to come I am planning to have a place to call home and get to share it with my family”.
Earl's got a new couch & a new lease on life ...
Eight years ago on a cold day in January, Earl decided he needed a helping hand.
He was freezing, hungry, and out of options. Helping Hands of Springfield opened the door and let him in. He was grateful that night to just to get some food in his stomach and to have a place to sleep - even if just a mat on the floor.
The next morning Helping Hands staff asked if he wanted any other assistance …
We knew that there was a long road ahead, but we offered to walk it hand in hand.
Today, Earl swings open his apartment door and invites you to have a seat on his brand new couch. While visiting with you he will proudly show you the certificate documenting that he has graduated from the Helping Hands programs and now is on his own. And, he’s proudly lending a hand to others in need a this church and in the Springfield community.
The journey from homelessness to independence is not easy. Clients like Earl and our team of caring professionals – along with our community volunteers and donors - work very, very hard.
As Earl says; “You gotta be hungry for it, and I mean really hungry,not just for a meal and bed for the night”.