Marie has experienced both the receiving and giving sides of Household Goods. In January 2010, in her home country of Haiti, Marie’s life was turned upside down by the catastrophic earthquake that occurred in Haiti, killing more than 300,000 people and leaving more than 1,000,000 Haitians homeless. Marie moved with her two young children from Haiti to Massachusetts in April 2010, leaving behind the devastation but finding herself homeless in Boston. Marie and her children had no place to go, finding temporary housing in Boston’s homeless shelters. Life at that time was difficult for them. Marie was not able to acquire many personal possessions to take care of her young family. When they finally found permanent housing, they did not have much at all beyond what would fit in a few bags. In April 2011, Marie was referred to Household Goods by Housing Families, a nonprofit organization in Malden that works to end family homelessness. Marie came to Household Goods as a client and said it was “amazing.” At Household Goods, Marie found everything her family needed: bed frames, a dining table and chairs, and everything she needed in her kitchen for cooking and serving meals. After so much time and so many transitions, Marie and her children finally had a place of their own.
Pursuing Her Dream
Now Marie has been comfortably settled in her new home for over a year. She is pursuing her dream of studying medicine, something she has wanted to do from a very young age. Currently she is a student at Bunker Hill Community College, where she is fulfilling prerequisites so that she can transfer to the Lawrence Memorial/Regis College Nursing Program. One of the classes that Marie is taking has a requirement of 15 hours of community service. Marie chose to do her community service at Household Goods, as a way of saying thank you for everything they did for her as well as for everything they do for the community. In fact, Marie plans to do more volunteering at Household Goods than the required 15 hours. In talking about her experiences as a client at Household Goods, Marie remarked how nice everyone was to her during that difficult time when she was gathering household items for her new apartment. There is an old quote “People may not remember exactly what you did, or what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel.” Marie remembers that Household Goods not only gave her household goods, but that volunteers made her feel like an important and respected person.