She had no English, we had no Spanish—we were all frustrated in this interaction. While most days we have at least one staff person who speaks Spanish on duty, today we did not. My Spanish is limited, no matter how hard I try to improve upon it. I actually provide comic relief to my Latino clients on a regular basis!
At any rate, back to the story….our client needed help with her electric bill—her power had been turned off and between us, her, the power company—the communication was garbled at best. I resorted to looking for a client who could help with translation and found one right away. This client was a longtime client who had come in with a friend to help her sign up for assistance. She immediately responded to my request for help and sat down next to the client needing energy help, and started translating for us.
Thanks to this client, we were able to help get the lights back on for this family. But the story doesn’t stop there—our translator and her friend took this Latina client under their wing, offering her a ride to the Power Company and then home with the goods she received from Hope House that day. A friendship was born—a circle of sharing was formed.
This is the gift we did not anticipate when we started Hope House 15 years ago (15 years—can you believe it!?). The gift of community that is the Hope House experience has no measurable outcomes to show grantors and donors, but the gift is very real to those who feel left out of the world sometimes. This is a place of belonging and acceptance where those who are marginalized out there find peace.
I think this was the gift God meant for Hope House to be all along!