In Her Own Words

A personal interview with Gilead House Alumni, Cecilia

I moved from Spain with my son four years ago. Even with a post graduate degree, a savings account and proficiency in English, life wasn’t easy. There were many cultural difference, and the language barrier was difficult. I couldn’t find a proper job, and we eventually lost our home.

“It was hard to accept the fact that I was a homeless person.”

I was incredibly lucky to learn about Gilead House. It saved me homelessness. I lived there for a year with my thirteen year-old son, who transitioned from a sweet small kid to a tall quiet teenager. 

Life at Gilead House was not easy. We had rules, lived with other families and, occasionally, felt overwhelmed by to much noise and closeness. But, it also felt like a family, sharing beautiful moments, knowing we were in a safe place, welcomed and loves, and someone cared.

Gilead House offered needed resources: food, clothes, gifts, aid , and a tutor for my son. We had weekly meetings to improve ourselves and were required to look for a job, and money, and meet goals. 

I was paired with a mentor, a wonderful person who was crucial to my growth. We met on a regular basis, and she helped me with everything from paperwork to meetings at my son’s high school. My mentor listened to my struggles and was an emotional support.

“My son and I grew more in one year at Gilead House than in our entire previous life.”

While at Gilead House, I was referred to the Culinary Academy at Homeward Bound of Marin. I took their three month course while working on weekends at a winery. Participating in the program opened up new possibilities for me. As a graduate of Gilead House and Homeward Bound, I was able to qualify for a beautiful apartment in Oma Village, where we live now. It is temporary but it enables me to save for my nest step of finding my own place. 

A few months ago, I decided to pursue obtaining my license as an insurance agent and have changed my career. I have found a full time job with better pay, and I still work at the winery part time on the weekends.

“Gilead House was a fundamental part of my success.”

I am thankful for their support – the staff, my mentor, the moms, and all the volunteers who helped me in so many ways. I am committed to this community that makes a difference in the world, one family at a time.

“They provide something precious: hope.”