Re: Single Mom Overcomes Tough Times FWD

Theodore Latham (
Sun, 01 Feb 1998 23:17:02 PST

     That story really shows what a helping hand can do for an 
individual in need.  And from my personal experience, CA has helped me  
a time or two when I was homeless, living in the Central Arizona Shelter 
Service (CASS), working two day labor agencies (PEAKLOAD & ADVANCED), 
and giving every dime of my earnings to the Madison St. Mexicans yelling 
"Coca, Chiva, Multa" all day.  When it was time to eat, if the Andre 
House or St. Vinnies were closed, I was up sh#@t's creek.  One day I was 
starved and had cotton mouth on top of that.  So I found the local 
Catholic Charities and they hooked me up with a gang of food and some 
Church's Fried Chicken vouchers, which I used at a nearby one on Grand 
St. They also have, assisted me on a rent payment, when I was living in 
a $75 a week motel room in Hattiesburg, MS.  That's why I feel so 
compelled to offer 
access to all the resources I know of personally, as well as those I 
learn about each day, on my Tedrico's Page web site.  You can't beat the 
feeling that engulfs you when an individual or an organization extends 
that helping hand when you need it the most.  Thank you for putting that 
one into circulation Tom, because that made my night :).  And speaking 
of helping hands, I want all you HPN'ers to visit Tedrico's Page & post 
to my discussion board, all of your knowledge and criticisms of the 
shelters, food handout lines, & soup kitchens that you may have partook 
of when you were homeless. Nuff said!


Tedrico Latham

Education, Shelter, and Food Assistance for the Homeless!
[mailto: ]

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>From: Tom Boland <>
>Subject: Single Mom Overcomes Tough Times  FWD
>Precedence: bulk
>FWD Feb 1, 1998 from Catholic Charities, Diocese of Santa Rosa, CA
>Diane Penserini is a survivor.
>Born and raised in Napa by a strict pair of second-generation Italian
>parents, Diane grew up in a home with few freedoms. When she left her
>parents to marry, she discovered the man she thought she knew and loved
>abused drugs. He also
>physically abused her.
>"One day when my daughter was 5 she asked me, 'Mommy, is Daddy coming 
>tonight?' I told her yes. Then she said, 'But I don't want Daddy to 
>That's when Diane knew she had to leave.
>Without the benefit of child support, Diane raised her two daughters 
>son. When she needed to work two jobs to pay their bills, she did. She
>focused on her one priority in life: the well- being of her children.
>She successfully supported her family until the unexpected happened: 
One of her
>daughters suffered a ruptured spleen, and incurred $65,000 in medical 
>Unable to meet all of their expenses, Diane briefly considered filing 
>bankruptcy. As she was frantically trying to satisfy her creditors, a 
>foreclosed on her home.
>Diane moved her family into a rental with an option to buy. She had 
>replaced the flooring and repaired the walls when a bank foreclosed on 
>"That's when I completely fell apart," Diane says. "Everything went 
>... I was a woman alone in my late 40s with three teens to support."
>To afford the first and last months' rent and deposit on another 
>Diane sold her car. But she was unable to keep up with the rent, and 
>forced to move again.
>She relocated her family five times that year.
>Then one day Diane saw an ad for Catholic Charities' Shared Housing 
Exchange in
>Napa. Shared Housing matches people who want to share their homes with
>individuals or small families who need low- cost housing.
>Case worker Sheila Hannaford placed Diane and her family in a home with 
>affordable rent. A year later Diane moved her family into a rental of 
>In 1995, Catholic Charities received a donated mobile home. Diane 
>for the home, and title was eventually transferred to her.
>"I feel very fortunate," she says.
>Diane believes more support is needed for people who want a helping 
hand, not a
>handout. She's thankful that Catholic Charities provides that type of
>"People can do wonderful things on their own," says the 51- year-old
>mother. "If
>people have an opportunity to work for something, they will. They just 
need a
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