There is More Than What Meets the Eye

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Chris*, who was 18 months old, lived with his family in a little space that resembled a basement. His family had many needs that affected their quality of life. His parents were able to afford a heater to combat the winter cold. To sit, they had a table with two chairs. There was no other furniture.

When one of El Centro de la Raza’s program coordinators visited Kevin’s home, she noticed that he was sick with the flu and was kept warm by his mother’s warmth. His mother held him in her arms the entire time because the floor was cold. When the program coordinator asked Kevin’s mother, Rosario*, how long they had lived there, she responded, “Nearly three years.” The coordinator believed it was unfair for the family to live in those conditions and asked what the family needed. Rosario stated they needed only diapers and a high chair for Kevin.

The next time the program coordinator visited, she brought what Rosario needed – and more. She brought food from our Food Bank, a larger space heater, some furniture, dishes, clothing, and blankets. With Westside Baby’s help, Kevin now had diapers, clothing, and a high chair. With more resources and fewer needs, Kevin feels more comfortable in his own home. He is more engaged during home visits and has made considerable improvement in his speech. His vocabulary has grown and wants to participate during home visits actively.

* Name has been changed to protect the individual’s identity and privacy.