Sandra’s Story

If I had my life to live over, I would not have become a mother when I was thirteen years old.

If I had my life to live over, I would not have stayed involved, willy-nilly, with the same guy, nine years older than I, and had seven more babies.

If I had my life to live over, I would try to learn early the difference between being ignorant and being stupid.

If I had my life to live over, I would . . . . . etc., etc.

As it is, I am now thirty years old, the mother, finally, of ten, all of us are together, and my life has new meaning.

The intervening years were strenuous, grim and a continuing battle for survival. But homelessness was not one of my goals. It happened, however, in September 2000. I was now married and we had a beautiful, four-bedroom house in Carol City. Then, the roof fell in. My husband went to jail, the income stopped, the house was foreclosed, my family was split in all directions, I was destitute. I was bankrupt – financially, spiritually and every other way.

This is supposed to be a success story but I think, in order to tell it, I should tell a little more about myself.

I am not unattractive, although I am, at the moment, too heavy. I am working on that defect and we will soon see who is in charge: me or the big, delicious bowl of rice!

For all of my problems, and all of my stupidity, I had millions of dreams, feelings and thoughts. I was curious, wide-eyed and optimistic. Miraculously, I still have the dreams and I am still optimistic. All of my children are with me and I am blessed.

The real miracle, with the help of God, came when Chapman Partnership, entered my life, providing me with courage, hope, inspiration. I was given all kinds of help. I learned how to work, how to give to others, how to plan, how to think, how to laugh, how to cry, how to be grateful and how to live.

Now, I am on my own. My kids are all doing well in school and my goals are bubbling in a new incarnation. I want to be an accountant and this will require college. I do not think I am too old. I must say, I don’t recommend to others my life as a model, but one upside may be that I started so young, I can now begin again.

I would like to end this by saying a simple “Thank You” to Chapman Partnership and a long, loud “THANK YOU” to Mr. Chapman, without whom there would be no Chapman Partnership and no me.