Help Families Find Safe Housing

Summer and Lillyana

When was the last time you changed someone’s life?

Can we count on your support to help families find safe homes?

It can be hard to remember you can make a difference in someone’s life, and often you don’t get to see the impact.

This year, I wanted to share Summer’s story to serve as a reminder of how you can impact someone’s life. Summer and her family live in ROSE’s housing, and I had the opportunity to speak with her and her daughter Lily to hear about their experience finding housing.

We collaborated on this project to encourage you to support ROSE’s work with a gift before the end of the year. It is with great urgency and hope that you will make a gift today to help more families like Summer’s find a safe home and community.

Two years ago I had a constant feeling of dread that my family was going to have nowhere to live. Where would we go? Would we have to live in our car? What if I couldn’t provide a safe place for my kids to live? 

I’m sharing my story in hopes that you will support ROSE Community Development with a gift this fall. 

My husband and I were living with our two sons, Isaac and Angel, in our own apartment when my dad was diagnosed with cancer. We moved in with my parents to help take care of him, sharing a 3-bedroom apartment for $1,300, and my mother and husband worked while I took care of the kids and my dad. We welcomed our daughter Lillyana in 2011, and while this was such a blessing, it was a hard time for our family. 

Angel was in preschool when he was diagnosed with autism and around the same time we discovered Lillyana had vascular lesion and needed heart surgery. We had so many worries and our apartment was getting cramped. With three kids sharing a room, there was no space for their toys and clothes. After my dad passed away in 2017, my mother was ready to move into a smaller senior home. Her decision was understandable but it left us scrambling. We had nowhere to go. 

I felt desperate and exhausted. I couldn’t take one more hardship. We needed help. When we visited the Department of Human Services offices they had a lot of options for single mothers, but finding an apartment for a family felt impossible. We had a small emergency savings but all the low income apartments had closed waiting lists, or waiting times of several years. 

Finally, we found out about ROSE through 211, a social services call-center. I visited the office, and got on the waitlist. After 9 months we got a call that we had been approved for a 4-bedroom apartment. I couldn’t believe it– every kid would have their own room! And the rent was only $472 a month! This was a miracle to us. 

The relief that you can give your kids a feeling of safety–there is no amount of money worth that. There are many families like mine. We all have obstacles and we need help. We all need a place to belong. 

You can help more families like mine find a safe home they can afford. You can give children like Lillyana the gift of comfort and security in a safe home. 

Can you make a gift today that will give families a chance to build a better life?

With hope, 

Summer Salazar-Lopez