A single mother of three teens, Norah* didn’t have time for a health crisis. One missed work shift would result in losing their home. After collapsing during a double shift at her job as a CNA, she awoke in the hospital to learn she needed emergency surgery. She declined however, checking herself out of the facility against medical advice and returning to work and her LPN class to prepare for a major exam.
When the instructor learned of her health situation, she encouraged Norah to return to the hospital for surgery. It was during recovery that Kayla walked into her hospital room after meeting Norah’s daughter in the hallway and hearing about their situation.
By the time of Norah’s discharge, Kayla had gathered a group of Bridge of Hope Neighboring Volunteers from her church and organized a month’s worth of breakfast, lunch, and dinner deliveries for the family while Norah healed.
“I definitely would have been homeless had Bridge of Hope not intervened,” said Norah. “If I didn’t work overtime hours, there was no way I could make ends meet. When Bridge of Hope came into my life, they helped with my rent. That eased my burden in a big way.”
She recalled with gratitude the day the Neighboring Volunteers delivered new beds and other furniture for her family, dinners together, and the example the men provided for her observant sons.
“Those men may not have known what they were doing, talking to each other about investing during our meetings, but one of my sons really grabbed on to that. He understood he could plan and save for the future, so he didn’t have to be poor,” she said. “Then he could sit and enjoy his evenings like those men could do.”
In the almost 15 years since she received Bridge of Hope services, Norah has earned both an LPN and RN certifications, a bachelor’s degree in human services management and a master’s degree in education. She currently lives in Portland, Oregon, where she owns and manages two adult foster homes for people with traumatic brain injuries. Her daughter is an RN working in home health, and her two sons are engineers—and homeowners themselves.
“The work that Bridge of Hope did in our lives was amazing, and we will never forget them,” she said. “What Bridge of Hope does is an inscription on the stone of a person’s life that can never be erased by anything.”
Nayr’s life had hit a dead end. Despite a full-time job, she was stuck, living out of their car with no prospects of improvement save one: Bridge of Hope. Participation would require her to let down her guard and trust others, she knew. Would Nayr, who prided herself for her independence, be able to open up and accept help?Read Full Story