2018 Annual Report Overview-
The past year has been a time of transition and “construction” for all of us at Perpetual Help Home.
We are rooting ourselves in the purpose this organization was created to serve- safely housing women and their families in times of need in the Crossroads area and equipping them with skills needed to make life changes.
We have had both major successes and tear-wrenching disappointments- but through it all we have learned, we have prayed, and more than anything, we have leaned on God.
Stella Calzada, PHH Program Director and entrepreneur-
The current program director for Perpetual Help Home has a heart of compassion for the women of PHH. Because, not too long ago, Stella was in their shoes.
As Stella puts it, “I was a hard-core drug addict. I would go full-force to get my drugs. [I had] done a lot of harm to my family and children and it was hard; I carried around a lot of guilt and shame. It was difficult coming out of that. But [God] restored me.”
This insight into the struggles of our residents has proven immeasurable again and again as she knows what these women need is not just a hand-out but a hand up, plus some love and grace.
Stella is one of the success stories from Perpetual Help Home’s Freedom Capital Ventures program through which she launched her brand, “Stella’s Sassy Salsa.” She was provided seed funding for her company in 2014 and paid back the loan even before it was due.
“The staff at PHH kept cheering me on—even when everyone else had washed their hands of me—so I just couldn’t let them down,” Stella said. “Cheryl gave me the opportunity to go full-force into starting my own business. So I accepted the challenge and put all of my energies into that. It kept my mind occupied.”
These days you can find Stella rocking her role as program director at PHH during the week and selling her salsa at farmers markets around the Crossroads area on the weekends. Her award-winning products are also for sale at Yummy Finds.
“I can’t even imagine being the person that I was,” Stella said. “I am so glad that God has made me into a new creation.”
Jamie Kleypas, A path to full-time employment & health-
Jamie came to live at Perpetual Help Home in September of 2016. After working devotedly as a caretaker for her elderly mother who passed away, Jamie found herself with limited resources and in need of a place to make a fresh start.
“I came here with nothing—no car, no furniture, no money,” said Jamie. “Thankfully a friend knew about PHH and brought me here to put in an application.”
Jamie began working soon after coming to PHH, attempting to balance two part-time jobs. While the hours were difficult to deal with, she was able to save up enough money to purchase a used truck. Her newfound mobility made a huge difference in her ability to get to work. Jamie was hired on at the Caterpillar plant in September of 2017.
“ The job security and insurance at Caterpillar were a huge deal,” said Jamie.
Jamie had long suffered from scarring on the cornea of her right eye since she had Shingles in the 2nd grade. She was able to utilize her health insurance at Caterpillar and her savings to have a cornea transplant in early 2018.
“I went from 20/400 vision in my right eye to 20/60,” Jamie exclaimed. “And it’s not even finished healing all the way yet!”
Now Jamie is looking to the next step in her life. She is rebuilding her savings up post-surgery and hopes to purchase a camper outright to move into.
“Perpetual Help Home saved my life,” Jamie said. “[but now] I am ready to have my own place where my family can come and stay to visit me.”
Christina Harrison, A path to true independence-
Christina Harrison lived at Perpetual Help Home during the construction of her own Habitat for Humanity home.
“[Perpetual provided] a stable and affordable place to live while saving up for a Habitat house,” Christina said.
The Habitat for Humanity home process took 10 months.
“I had to take financial and home-owners classes and complete 300 hours of build-time labor building my own home,” Christina said. “It was hard and tiring working full-time and being a single mom but it was worth it.”
On September 20 Christina stood in the middle of a large crowd and accepted a golden key to her own brand-new house at a home dedication. She and her two sons now have a permanent place to live that is THEIRS.
“I have something now I can leave to my kids—a home of their own,” Christina said. “It’s amazing to live in a house we built. Dreams come true.”