AmeriCorps member helps prevent eviction of mom with 5 kids

by Jared Paben

"The woman maintained an incredible humble but poised demeanor, answering questions honestly but without self-pity or fear. It was humbling to see."

AmeriCorps member helps prevent eviction of mom with 5 kids

Gabe E., an AmeriCorps member serving through the Oregon State Service Corps, shares his story of service. Gabe works on behalf of the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO) and is based at Rigler School in Northeast Portland:

One day, I called a family that had received a 72-hour eviction notice for failure to pay rent.

I called and gathered the family's information: a single mother with five kids and a job that wouldn't give her enough hours to make ends meet. I filled out the paperwork and sent it to IRCO, hoping for the best but imagining that my job was done.

I volunteered to interpret during the intake process, the first and most time-sensitive step in IRCO’s anti-poverty system. During that process, I learned so much about the family's struggles with poverty, migration, deportation, and domestic violence. Through the entire conversation, though, the woman maintained an incredible humble but poised demeanor, answering questions honestly but without self-pity or fear. It was humbling to see.

In the end they received the assistance and to my knowledge are still in their home.

Posted on January 28, 2014 in AmeriCorps.