“O” is a single father with a 9 year old daughter. He is originally from Honduras, but came to the United States almost 3 years ago because his daughter was being threatened and he needed to flee his country to stay away from the violence. He first arrived in South Carolina where he was then joined by his wife and daughter about 2 months later. Shortly afterwards, his wife decided to separate from him, which motivated his move to California. His daughter made the choice to move with him. His arrival in Sonoma County was the beginning of his experience with homelessness.
Arriving in Sonoma County and having no place to shelter, he came across many hurdles, not the least of which was not speaking English; however, he says his biggest challenge was just being homeless with his daughter and working to overcome it. He found La Luz, a local organization that helps the Latino community. He asked for help because he and his daughter had nowhere to sleep and no food to eat. Although La Luz does not have shelters, they were able to provide a 6 day voucher for a hotel stay in order to get O referred to Catholic Charities for shelter services and support with finding housing. Within that 6 day period, he was able to transition to the Family Support Center through Catholic Charities. A couple of months later, he began working with his case worker to begin the process of securing permanent housing. O began working with Catholic Charities at the end of September 2021 and approximately 6-7 months later, was moving into his new permanent residence.
When asked what message he has for others in his situation, O said to never give up; to always keep moving forward and work very hard. He said his daughter is his greatest motivation and the reason he wakes up everyday. With pride and love, he shared that his daughter is doing great and getting good grades in school.
O expressed gratitude to Inspired Spaces Foundation for providing him and his daughter with somewhere to sleep and somewhere to eat. When first meeting with O, his only thoughts and wishes were to make the design special for his daughter. He needed much prompting to ask for anything for himself.