Giving Back: A Love Story

Salome first came to us after she and her children lost their housing in another county. In the housing crash of 2008-09, her landlord’s property had been foreclosed on, and the repercussions hit her hard. In fact, she became aware of the crisis when the sheriff came to her door and made them leave without anything but a few photos and some personal paperwork they were able to salvage.

Fortunately, social workers found her emergency housing via Section 8, but she had to move to Charlottesville. With her family all living at a distance now, she was left without even beds to sleep on. Between her Charlottesville Department of Social Services (CDSS) worker and Love INC, however, her home was gradually furnished.

She also received holiday meals and gifts for her children that year, including coats and clothes, but there was no job for her anywhere. She went into the VIEW Program through social services, so that she could gain some job training and maybe a new job in Charlottesville. It was an uphill battle all the way.

First there were issues with the father of the children, who was incarcerated and no longer paid child support. In some ways that was a relief as Salome had been trying to distance herself from him. Then some old fines resurfaced to haunt Salome. A new man in her life brought some “baggage” that was potentially threatening to herself and her children. And she was still unable to find good employment.

Later the following year, Love INC got a phone call from Mary Grant who runs classes for the VIEW program in CDSS. Would Love INC be willing to take a lady for job training? With considerable hesitation, stemming from some previous attempts with other VIEW participants, Love INC agreed. 

What a big and pleasant surprise! Salome, whom we already knew, turned out to be one sharp lady, with a knack for finding information via the Internet. She was particularly good at taking intakes and referring needs to just the right place. The Love INC staff begged to keep her on, but she was hired for competitive employment with a dispatching agency and, regrettably, we lost our lady wizard!

Salome came back briefly to work with us, but then she moved her whole family out of state, where she found an even better job and was married. She sent us pictures.

Now, nearly six years later — with many miles between us — she continues to keep in touch via social media. Her family attends a large church near her home. Both she and her husband have jobs and they are doing well. Recently a message came from her:

“hey Susan ..I’m going to start sending donations every pay period is it better to use the PayPal i see on your site or i was going to set it up to automatically come out of my ac-count..Im finally in a place where i can give to you all it has been on my heart for a long time and i want to be a faithful donor to you all. It’s not much but I want to give something every two weeks. I’m grateful that you all were there and were a part of my life and I thank you all, because you and Ray inspired me to stay on the right track. Love you all”

Never forget that your kindness and compassion to a person in need can have a life-changing impact.


NOTE: Due to some threats she received from the father of her children, we have not disclosed her Charlottesville church or other information. Her information from our office has been archived.