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Our Stories

Blanca's Story

“This freedom that I have gained, I’m not going to give it up for anybody!”

Blanca's Story

The first time Blanca came to PVSS, she wasn’t emotionally ready to make the changes necessary to find stability. She was fleeing an abusive husband with her two sons, Max and Cruz. She was traumatized and life was difficult. Blanca found it challenging to follow the program and her stay was brief.

In 2020, Blanca reached out to PVSS again and this time she was ready to make the tough choices and work hard to make a better life for her sons. She was so happy to be given a second chance even if that chance meant a temporary separation from her oldest son. Max was too old to live in the Emergency Shelter, so Blanca made the tough decision to send him to live with her sister and mother in Mexico. She missed him so much, but she knew it was what was best for their family’s future. Throughout our conversation, Blanca continually expressed how much she loves her sons, and how she would do anything to make a better life for them.

She was employed at a local taqueria when she moved into the Shelter, but the pay was very low. Then the work situation worsened when the owners sold it to a coworker. Blanca knew she needed a job with more financial security. The unknown is scary, and Blanca was hesitant. As she moved through the PVSS programs, she gained confidence in herself and trust in her case managers. It was around this time that the family moved into a one-year transitional unit paving the way for Max to be reunited with them.

Yande, PVSS’ CED Coordinator guided Blanca through applying for a job with PVUSD and getting training at Cabrillo College in kitchen skills and obtaining a Food Manager Certification. PVSS also helped Blanca obtain a California driver’s license. This new license allowed her to accept the gift of a minivan from a generous donor. Blanca doesn’t look back on the past with regret because it has made her stronger. She shared, “The ACE’s and Family Strengthening Workshops helped me so much! Through the one-on-one counseling, I learned to be happy with myself.”

Now, with her new job and a section 8 voucher, Blanca is poised to move out into stable housing soon. Max is now a senior in high school, earns good grades, and has his sights set on college. Blanca was almost floating with joy when she stopped by recently to share pictures of her new apartment. Through a big smile she said, “This freedom that I have gained, I’m not going to give it up for anybody!”

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