As the door to Marcela’s home opens, joyful giggles of children emanate from the living room. Marcela and her husband, Michael, are thankful to be settled in a new place. It has not been an easy journey for the couple who recently welcomed their fourth child in April. With the help of Samaritan House and services of Catholic Charities, this beautiful family of six have found peace during these turbulent times.
Marcela and Michael were high school sweethearts and have been together for 14 years. They moved to Colorado from San Bernardino, California, three years ago. The cost of living is higher in California and they hoped to be able to save some money while being nearer to some family.
In Colorado, Marcela worked while her husband cared for their three young children. They noticed a change in his health and sought help from doctors. Marcela explained, “I was just trying to work, and we fell behind, and then he had got diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease.” Struggling with the diagnosis and loss of her job, they were evicted from their apartment. On unemployment and pregnant with her fourth child, the family moved into a motel and faced a future with very little hope.
While taking classes at Denver Human Services, Marcela heard about Samaritan House When there was an opening on the family floor at the homeless shelter, Marcela said, “I took the chance, moved out of the motel, which I was paying $1,200 a month.”
At Samaritan House, they met Laura, their case worker, and began to receive the help they needed. ” I felt depressed some time because my husband was struggling to walk and had trouble holding things, and I was about to have a baby,” Marcela recalled.
Laura was there for her and made her feel like she could get back on her feet. Marcela was thankful for Laura’s guidance. Laura introduced her to other programs at Catholic Charities. Marcela worked with Rebeca from Early Head Start prenatal home visits, who helped with health and wellness during the pregnancy. She was introduced to Early Childhood Education, Gabriel House Project, and counseling programs. At Samaritan house, the family was able to pay off debts, including the utility bill and credit cards. She improved her credit score. Marcela created a budget and set that would have been difficult to accomplish without Laura and Samaritan House. In March, the family was relieved to hear that their hard work had paid off and they would be moving into their new home. Samaritan House is “a really good place with really good option(s) to lean forward. They opened the doors for me.”