Tuesday, December 29, 2009

FYI: A Homeless Success Story!


Gracias ~ I will pass it on!

Venceremos Unidos! Education for Liberation!

Peter S. López, Jr. aka~Peta

Email: peter.lopez51@yahoo.com 


From: Cottage Housing Inc. <jwalten@cottagehousing.org>
To: peter.lopez51@yahoo.com
Sent: Tue, December 29, 2009 1:20:29 PM
Subject: A Homeless Success Story!

     from the streets to self-sustainability 
A Homeless Success Story!



Hunt family

     My daughter and I arrived at Quinn Cottages without much furniture but with lots of hope. We didn't just get a place to live; we also found a new beginning.  

     I write to ask for a donation that would give other families the same opportunity.

     I was homeless before coming into this Cottage Housing program, and my life was about drug addiction, welfare dependence and criminal behavior.  I dropped out of school and was a terrible mom for my daughters.  I had been in and out of jail for receiving stolen property, grand theft auto, burglary, drug possession, and check fraud.  I could not imagine being a productive member of society, holding a job and supporting my family.  I felt like I was stuck and didn't think there was any way out.   
     The worst part of being in prison was when my children called saying they wanted me to come home but I couldn't. 
     Right then I knew if I didn't change, I was going to spend the rest of my life in prison or soon end up dead.  I wanted something better and knew I needed to do something different but didn't know what or how.
     Cottage Housing gave me the opportunity to create the life I have today.  The program gave me the chance to develop living skills I'd never learned --- like how to be a parent ... balance a checkbook ... stay sober.  It also helped me to be around others who were committed to making changes in their lives. 
     For the first time, I had a sense of direction toward the goals that made me the woman I am today.  I took positions of responsibility within the program where I learned how to be accountable - not to the staff, but to myself.
     I'm now employed at the place I went to for help, extending to others the same opportunities offered to me.  Some program participants say: "you can't possibly understand what I've been through", but when they see I've been there and hear what has happened since, they think: if she can do it, I can too.
     Thanks to people like you investing in Cottage Housing, more than six hundred formerly homeless people have successfully graduated from Quinn Cottages and Serna Village with housing secure, income stabilized and sobriety intact.  I am proud that this year's exiting participants achieved a 90.2% graduation rate - our highest ever!
     I came up with the phrase: "we're going from tax-taker to tax-maker".  I save myself and other taxpayers over $100,000 every year I stay out of prison, keep my kids out of foster care, remain employed and off welfare.  Unlike 70% who return to California prisons - which have the highest recidivism rate in the nation - I haven't been in trouble since getting off parole. 
    I have a wonderful life and my future has no limits.  I completed my human services degree in chemical dependency at American River College, and am securing certification in addiction counseling.  I've been sober for eleven years, breaking the cycle of addiction, unemployment and dysfunction within my family. 
    My daughters have learned from my experience without following in my footsteps, and won't have to go through what I did to get where I am today.  It took me too long to realize there is enjoyment in life ... we all face hard times, but it's not hard all the time. 
   Please make one of your gifts during this holiday season a financial donation to the program that helped me become the contributing member of society I always wanted to be. 
In appreciation,
Cynthia Hunt, Alumna & Program Manager
Quinn Cottages 

Donate Now!

Quinn Cottages and Serna Village are healing residential communities
where homeless people help themselves - and each other-
in their transition from the streets to self-sustainability.

The project's +75% graduation rate is made possible through partnership
between Cottage Housing Inc. and Mercy Housing California,
the construction and property manager,
and through collaboration with numerous community allies.

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This email was sent to peter.lopez51@yahoo.com by jwalten@cottagehousing.org.
Cottage Housing Inc. | 1726 Professional Drive | Sacramento | CA | 95825

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