Born to homeless parents sleeping inside a non permanent church shelter, Serenity Michelle’s future seemed grim. The church shelter didn’t allow infants, and her mom and dad, Lopez and Bernadette Ortiz, feared the birth of their child would imply living around the streets once more.
But their story, an case in point from the poverty that exists within the shadows of Silicon Valley, drew an immediate response from advocates and an outpouring of neighborhood support. On Monday, Lopez, Ortiz and Serenity Michelle – born Oct. 15 – is going to be moving into their personal rent-free studio apartment in downtown San Jose.
“It’s a secure place,” explained Lopez, 47, inserting a pacifier in Serenity’s mouth. “It’s not like being about the streets. We’ll have a little more privacy as well as a place we can start to simply call home.”
It’s been twelve yrs considering the fact that Lopez experienced his own apartment. It is been five for Ortiz. He turned homeless immediately after leaving his job as a soil inspector; she wound up about the streets following a domestic dispute along with her ex.
The couple, who achieved 5 years in the past at “the Jungle,” a massive homeless encampment in San Jose, didn’t approach to have a child. But after learning that Ortiz was pregnant, they noticed child Serenity as being a indication of hope along with a likelihood for redemption – an opportunity to try and do far better.
“I get to raise her inside of a different way than I lifted my other little ones – inside a far better environment,” claimed Ortiz, 39. “This is actually a chance to make up for mistakes I made with my other young children.”
Following their tent in close proximity to McLaughlin Avenue was swept by the metropolis, Lopez and Ortiz slept at a shelter inside of Grace Baptist Church in San Jose. But officials there stated the church couldn’t just take care of children as well as the couple required to leave after the little one was born.
That is when leaders from Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County stepped in. CEO Gregory Kepferle felt the nonprofit was compelled to help right after reading this news organization’s tale about the couple.
“The woman is about to offer start and they’d be homeless – it sounded lots to me much like the Holy loved ones,” Kepferle stated. “Mary was homeless and gave delivery to Jesus inside a stable. Here’s a family inside a really similar problem two,000 many years later on. As being a faith-based organization, we have to help.”
Catholic Charities discovered the couple a studio apartment on 10th Road through a landlord it works with. They can stay there rent-free – the nonprofit can pay the rent – right up until they find careers. The organization also will give Lopez and Ortiz work training and placement support.
Lopez, Ortiz as well as the little one have been being at yet another San Jose shelter right until they go into their new apartment. Although it seems like the having difficulties couple’s story provides a happy ending, Kepferle reported, it is just the start.
“They have an extended journey ahead of them to stabilize their living situation and get work and make sure the child contains a secure existence growing up,” Kepferle stated. “We’ve got a local community that’s ready to wrap their arms all-around this loved ones, and my hope is we can perform this for numerous other families.”
Ortiz claimed she’s thankful that Serenity, who was born 12 times late, will have a roof over her head. And Ortiz and Lopez are equally already hunting for work: Lopez needs a job being an right away janitor so he may take care of Serenity through the day. Ortiz needs to work with the homeless.
“I’ll always remember in which I arrived from,” Ortiz mentioned. “It places a smile on homeless people’s faces to know you can find someone who cares on the market.”
Plus the “miracle little one,” who weighs 8 kilos and sported a brilliant purple shirt, is nutritious and carries on to grow.
“All I could think is, ‘she is so wonderful,’” explained Lopez. “Knowing in which we have been, where we have come from and all the problems to have to the place we’re at – it’s a miracle.”