Feb 28, 2010 9:14 PM
"I had to commit crime and do things I didn't want to do in order to support myself on the street, that's how I found myself in jail," Monica Souza said.
Souza is not proud of some of the things she did, but she feels it was what she had to do at the time to survive after losing her job. Souza soon was locked behind bars, pregnant. After getting released early to the hospital to have her baby, she needed help. The Poor and the Homeless (P.A.T.H.) Tehama County Coalition got in contact with Souza and accepted her into a new transitional housing program for women and children called the "Sale House."
"You can't find a job when you don't have an address to put down on an application or a contact number and I needed somewhere to start, an opportunity and these people gave it to me," Sousa explained. However, P.A.T.H event coordinator Pam Klein says they are not giving it to her without making sure progress is being made. "This is a place where they need to grow and learn and give back and our goal is to get them out of the house, we don't want them to live here forever, we want them to go out and hold down a job to be productive citizens."
Currently, Souza and her baby are living with two other women and the house manager. The home can accomodate six people but after a fire alarm is installed fifteen people will be able to live there. Residents do not have to pay rent but are required to do at least ten hours of community service a week, something that is not a problem for Souza who is forever thankful. "For a group of people that doesn't even known me to look at me and say 'I see more and I believe in you,' made me believe in myself and give me a second chance at life."
The house is being leased by the previous owners and P.A.T.H employees say the community donated time and service to renovate and decorate the house. If you would like to apply to live at the home you can call 529-4668.
12 hours ago