To all the staff of solutions –
I feel compelled to write a letter showing my appreciation for your understanding and hard work.
Prior to my family entering the Solutions shelter, I had called over 30 residential programs from San Diego to Bakersfield. My husband had an outstanding probation issue that required him to be in a structured residential program until Dec. 22. Two months went by and we struggled very hard, barely making it day-to-day
Every program we called, either didn’t have room for our family of 6, or couldn’t help us..
On May 26, I had given up. I stopped calling programs and gave our entire situation to God.
That day, a family member gave me a list of resource numbers, all of which I had already called. The last number on the list said “Solutions”.
I called the number expecting the same response, “No two parent families”, or the famous, “No room.”
I was greeted on the phone by a woman named Laurie. I explained to her my situation and to my surprise, her words were “We’re not like most shelters, we can help.” I immediately started to cry. She explained to me a little about the program, and asked me some questions. She gave me an appointment, and before I hung up, she told me, “I’ll see you on Wednesday, everything’s going to be okay.”
I showed up on Wednesday, May 3, hoping for the best, but expecting the worst. The same woman, Laurie, gave both me and my husband an application. When we got to the criminal and drug history section, we looked at each other with the same look – “Should I be honest?”
For the first time in a long time, we were 100% honest. At this point now, I’m really expecting the worst because my honesty on paper doesn’t exactly make us look like upstanding people. We reluctantly turned them back into Laurie and waited.
A few minutes later, we met with a woman named Christine. Her first question was, “Why are you here?” I immediately began crying. I broke down and was completely honest with a total stranger. This went on for about an hour. Christine called a woman named Barbara, and asked if there was room for a family of 6. When she hung up, she said it’s pretty full, but Barbara will call you later and let you know when you can move over there.
Three long hours later, Barbara called and said we can move in that same night. I felt so relieved; all I could do was cry.
My family and I arrived at the shelter that night and were greeted by AnnMarie and Laurie, who made us feel right at home.
I’ve been at the shelter now for almost a month and a half. I feel safe and comfortable now, a feeling I haven’t had in a while. I don’t always like it here, but Barbara tells me that’s a good thing because if I like it, I may never leave. I think she’s right.
In the small amount of time we’ve been there, I’ve seen a lot of changes in my family, good ones. We work as a team now, something that we haven’t always done. We have 350 days clean and feel better than I’ve ever felt. Thank you for your kindness.