January 18, 2012|
Only a Hundred Dollars in My Pocket
Seven years ago I came to San Francisco with just $100.00 and my two-year-old daughter. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but I didn’t realize just how difficult it would be. We first stayed at the Leland Hotel on Polk Street for a week before I had to go on welfare and we wound up living in a shelter for a few months.
I had to learn everything on my own. How to ride the MUNI. How to find the welfare department. One time I got lost and asked a passerby where 170 Otis Street was. His impatient response was simply, “Never heard of it” as he kept on walking.
Odd Jobs Weighed Me Down I’ve had all kinds of odd jobs over the past few years since coming to San Francisco. My first job was a gift wrapper at Macy’s Union Square for the holiday season. I remember being disappointed that they didn’t give me a permanent job after the new year. Then I got a job filing at Joseph Schmidt Confections and gained 15 pounds there because all those fancy truffles were free for employees.
Good News in the Midst of Hard Times In 1997, I decided to go back to school full-time. But being a single mother of a young child makes it hard to get by on so little. Eventually, we ended up in Raphael House, a shelter for families. While we were staying there, we got a letter from TNDC saying that our name came up on the waiting list. A few months later, in March 2000, we moved into the Plaza Ramona apartments.
New Home Leads to a New Job This past January I met with Susannah Dunlap, the Employment and Training Manager at TNDC. She referred me to a position and within a few days I got a job as Administrative Assistant for TNDC’s Housing Development department.
I am thankful for the opportunities that both Raphael House and TNDC have provided me. If it were not for these opportunities I would still be homeless and on welfare.
– Nancy Muldoon