George and Alicia’s Story – Giving Back

After having lived at George’s father’s ranch about a decade ago, George and Alicia made the choice to move south to be closer to Alicia’s family in Pasadena. They had savings, and were confident that George – an experienced construction worker – would soon find a job to support their young family.

Unfortunately it didn’t work out like that. The cost of motels burned through their savings, and George was only able to find short-term jobs that paid far less than they needed. They didn’t want to be a burden on their already financially stretched families, but they were running out of other options.

Fortunately, when they enrolled their children in Pasadena School District, they were told about Friends In Deed’s Bad Weather Shelter – which at that time was able to accommodate family groups. They had some concerns – they’d been trying to keep things “normal” for the kids – but their children ended up loving it, racing around and enjoying the company of the other children there. Their youngest made friends with the whole shelter, and when he called “goodnight” there would be a whole chorus of replies, all wishing him goodnight by name!

In the meantime, George made the decision to take whatever work he could find, no matter the pay grade. He accepted an entry-level position at an auto-detailing company and has been there ever since – but is now a manager!

With the help of contacts made through BWS, George and Alicia cycled through a number of living situations – a room in someone’s house (the three children had the beds, and George and Alicia slept on the floor), a single-bedroom apartment, and finally a real home in a family-sized apartment.

Since then, the family has begun to give back. George joined the staff of the Bad Weather Shelter several years ago, and this year Alicia has joined him. And their eldest child – who remembers the difficult years more clearly than his siblings – has a 4.4 GPA, already has one college acceptance, and plans to major in psychology in the hopes of one day being able to offer help to children going through what he went through a decade ago.

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