Starting today, we're trying something a little different for our #FeelGoodFridays. We're going to be doing a series on What Affordable Housing Provides, with new stories every Friday. Today, you'll get to meet the lovely Ruth and hear her story.
"Living here, you can see the opportunity to progress,” says Ruth, a Peruvian single mom who moved to the United States fourteen years ago. Ruth and her son previously lived in San Jose, but their rent skyrocketed and they were no longer able to afford to stay. Not only was their apartment in San Jose expensive, but a tremendous inconvenience for Ruth, who had to commute upwards of an hour each morning to reach her job as a prep cook for a retirement home in Palo Alto. Ruth says that the commute to and from work was very stressful, as it wasted time and gas. In addition, their apartment in San Jose had few children to keep her young son company and no space for him to run around and play.
When Ruth, her son, and her father moved into their new home in Palo Alto, Ruth asserts that their quality of life increased greatly: “I feel like I’ve discovered something very exciting in my life.” Her son is ecstatic to live next to a park where he can play, and to be in a neighborhood full of kids his own age. Ruth speaks of the strong community with awe, stating that “This amazing place engages the kids, and these kids are the future.” Ruth is also immensely grateful to live near her work, which has alleviated the stress of her commute as well as the cost of gas. Now, Ruth is able to walk to work in a matter of minutes.
This summer, Ruth’s son is taking full advantage of all the programs Palo Alto Housing has to offer, including a camp for elementary school kids called “Kids in Action” and swimming lessons. “We’re both exploring new things,” says Ruth excitedly. Ruth is participating in a program for single moms called “Wanda”, where she has learned to budget and save her money. “This program has given me more confidence and more security to open myself to new opportunities,” confirms Ruth, who plans on going back to school to continue her studies.
Speaking with Ruth instills a sense of hope and wonder that is seemingly contagious. She and her family are eager to embark on the next journey-- whether that be finishing elementary school or learning to manage finances-- and are ready to take advantage of every opportunity to learn more. Ruth believes that affordable housing has completely changed her life. By lending a helping hand to her family, Ruth can try new things that she previously did not have time for. Paso a paso, says Ruth, which means “step by step” in English. Step by step, Ruth and her family will continue bettering their lives. ... See MoreSee Less