In 2000, I became homeless after my job with the Census Bureau ended.
I was homeless for 5 years, surviving on the meals provided by the Jesus Center and Salvation Army.
I spent springs, summers, and falls under bridges around Chico. In winters, I went to churches and shelters. I contracted undesirable diseases and ended up in the Mental Facility several times for suicide attempts.
The Dept. of Behavioral Health pulled me out of the Mental Facility, gave me housing and got me connected to Caminar through one of their work training programs named Protouch. In the beginning, I couldn’t work through a shift without sitting down all of the time. But gradually, my endurance built up. They found that I had a college degree and started giving me additional duties like billing and posting payments for Protouch. Later, I got a job also with Caminar working with adults with disabilities in the Friendship Circle Program. I was a receptionist for this program when the job for the Avenida Apartments Resident Manager came open. I applied the first day applications were available and got the job. December 2nd, 2012 was my 4th year at this position. And I owe it all to Caminar for taking a chance on me.