“How do you pick your clients?”
I am often asked the question, “ How do you pick your clients?” Most often, they pick us. By that I mean that folks hear of us from other sources and give us a call requesting our services. I have a conversation with them to determine their need and their circumstances. Sadly, there are many folks who abuse systems of assistance and part of what I do is try to discern between persons in dire need from circumstances beyond their control and persons who may in fact have some dire needs but our service to them will only bandage the gaping wound of their continued lack of initiative to solve their own problems while expecting those around them to provide for them and their families. For the most part, the calls I receive are of serious need under legitimate and grievous circumstances. We have many widows call us each week. The stories are different but the situations are the same; they worked hard along side their husbands raising families and making homes. They retired on a social security, sometimes small pension income. Then the husband passes away and the widow is left with half of the income she was living on before. The home is aging and needs expensive repairs. She can’t sell the home because of the disrepair and it is paid off so selling at all seems ridiculous because she would have to rent and does not have the money to do so. I can tell you that many of the widows I speak with actually try to live in and care for their homes AND pay for food and medicine on and income of less than 10,000 dollars per year. When your roof leaks and it will cost upwards of 7,000 dollars to replace, well, it doesn’t get repaired and the leaks get worse and pretty soon the interior of the home is ruined too. Another scenario that is becoming all too common a call is the not-very-low income homeowner that works full time but does not have any medical insurance and someone in the family has had an emergency or illness. All of a sudden the bills have piled so high that they are suffocating from debt. One or two home repairs become necessary and despair sets in. Hosanna has always tried to be a helping hand to the folks that would so appreciate a lift out of the pit a deteriorating home can be. We want the elderly widow to be able to stay in her home and be as proud of it as she was when she and her husband bought it so many years before when they were raising their family. We want the disabled veteran to be comfortable in the home that was purchased in the country that he or she so sacrificially defended. And when we take our Staff and Volunteers to a home we want to leave seeing not only a transformed home but a transformed heart; light in eyes that were dark with the weariness of poverty, hope in a heart that was broken from years of trying to keep ahead of the storm of futility and a renewed sense of purpose for the folks who have been paralyzed by depression. So, the calls come in the office. I conduct an interview and complete an application. Becky performs the inspection. If the request and circumstances are a good fit for Hosanna’s program, Becky schedules the project. Volunteers come and serve making it possible for Hosanna to stretch the donated dollar and continue driving the green trucks down the road to the next project.
-Amy Ed, Mission Worker