Not long ago, a woman came quietly into my office. You could sense her hesitancy and embarrassment as she struggled to tell me what she needed. This is often the case with people in crisis who have always been self-sufficient. She began to cry telling me her retirement plan was not working out the way she thought it would. While living off social security and dividends from a small investment, she had been fine. But then the investment dried up and she found herself in over her head with housing costs she couldn’t afford.
The sweet lady’s landlord understood her crisis and let her live in the house for as long as she could before letting her know there needed to be a change. The lady would have to either find alternate income or move out.
Once learning about and understanding the circumstances, I cobbled together some different types of assistance that would help her pay back rent in her current house and also move to alternate housing. She found herself a more affordable situation and moved. Once stable, she was off on her own and only checking in every now and then to let us know she was fine. It was the first drop of hope in one person’s life that rippled out over time to affect others in our community.
Several months later, the landlord came in to donate to another cause. She widened the lens on the story of our client. She had been letting the woman live in the house, assuming she would never get paid simply out of compassion for her. However, with the financial assistance she had received from La Puente, the tenant paid off the back rent and the landlord ended up with a large sum of money she had already counted as a loss. Since the landlord had already budgeted to NOT be paid, this was surplus in her mind. This was the next ripple; not only was the client left debt-free when she moved to affordable housing, but the landlord was left in a better financial position as a business owner.
But then, another person in the landlord’s circle came into crisis. Her employee became ill and was unable to work or pay rent. “We are all just one medical emergency or bad crisis away from bankruptcy,” she stated when telling me the story. The surplus income that had come to the landlord through the assistance provided by La Puente, was then used to help the landlord’s employee stay in his housing while he applied for disability. And the ripple of hope widened again.
One simple assist not only provided hope for the client who needed it at that moment but also continued to touch many as it moved from person to person, leaving its fingerprints on lives.
Give for change!
Help us continue to make a ripple of compassion that keeps on blessing those it touches.