The Only Place I Knew of to Look for Help

The Only Place I Knew of to Look for Help

When Rita* first found herself with an opportunity to leave her native Romania to attend graduate school in the United States, she was ecstatic. She and her elderly mother, Vera*, made the trip together to Oklahoma so Rita could pursue her dreams.

When they arrived, though, they found that the fellowship money Rita was receiving wasn’t enough to support the both of them.

With their rent, utilities and other living costs mounting, Rita had to change her plans. She and her mother made their way to Chicago where they found a place in East Lakeview, and Rita got a job to support them both.

After a few years of living in Lakeview, hard times came again. Rita lost her job and was unable to find another. And with no history of work in the United States, Vera wasn’t able to receive Social Security benefits.

Eventually Rita and Vera found themselves homeless. For four months they slept on CTA trains or stayed occasionally in shelters – until Rita recalled a place where they might turn.

“I remembered Lakeview Pantry from when we lived in the neighborhood a few years ago,” Rita shares. “This is the only place I knew of to look for help.”

Rita and Vera visited Lakeview Pantry’s Broadway location where they received a two-week supply of canned foods, pasta, meats, cereal and other staples as well as fresh fruits, vegetables and bread.

In addition, the two women sat down with Lakeview Pantry’s Manager of Client Services who was able to help them begin working toward finding housing and stability.

As they left the Pantry, Rita and Vera’s gratitude was palpable. They even stopped to give Broadway Pantry Coordinator Greg Nergaard a hug.

Lakeview Pantry is able to provide this kind of assistance to our neighbors because of the generous support of our donors. If you would like to help make a difference in the lives of our neighbors like Rita and Vera, make a gift today.

* Names changed to protect client confidentiality