An Amazing Example
by Leslie Salinas
Meet Ms. Juana Perez (name changed to protect her identity), a single mother of two girls (8 and 2 years old) and a sweet little boy that is 5. She recently reached out to Arms of Hope in the hope of receiving rental assistance. The father of her children had left her 2 years ago and although the separation was difficult she knew it was for the best. The children’s father continued to be financially responsible after their separation but 6 months ago Medicaid filed for child support as a normal protocol when receiving assistance. He became very upset and stopped all financial responsibility towards his family.
She actively sought employment, with many dead ends. Soon she found a job at a nearby restaurant, and was extremely excited as her employment would better her situation. The father had agreed to care for the children during the entire summer, but refused once he learned she would be working. Ms. Perez was very disappointed but refused to give up.
During her marriage she was forced to stay home and was unable to learn much about Houston. She is slowly learning the bus system, and although she does not speak English she has been blessed with very smart children that translate for her to their best of their ability. Ms.Perez began selling chocolates, sodas, and water during the week and had garage sales at her home on the weekends. She has good days and bad days but when she feels like giving up she reminds herself that she has three beautiful children to provide for.
She came to us when the weather impacted her sales and she was unable to come up with one month’s rent. We were able to pay for her rent and provide the family with clothes from Impact’s Resource Center. Ms. Perez and her children were also able to participate in the Parenting Classes recently held at Impact and have been able to be blessed by other Impact services in the following months. Ms. Perez is an amazingly strong woman and regardless of all that she has been through she manages to have a smile on her face and very positive attitude. Her story is a great reminder to count our blessings and be thankful for what we have.