Stories, Stories, Stories

the PARC has been busy these summer months meeting and getting to know the many that have come through our doors. There have been so many wonderful 'success stories' to share of those who have found jobs and  places to live. We rejoice in those, but there are many days at the PARC when our stories don't seem to end in 'success'. 

Debbie is a favorite of all those who come to the PARC. She is witty and encouraging and loves her dog. You will never see her without a smile on her face. Her story, however, is a tragic one. 11 years ago she fell down some stairs and suffered some physical disabilities as well as a brain injury. She came back to Amarillo to be with her family and then her mother passed away. Her mother left the family home to Debbie and her sister, but her sister made Debbie leave so that she ended up in the Salvation Army. Her sister was the payee for Debbie's disability check and was using the money and not leaving any for Debbie. Many people came together to help her. She was able to gain control of her money and was on the waiting list for assisted living housing.

A couple of weeks ago Debbie's sister showed up at the PARC and wanted to take her back to her house. We were all concerned about the situation but Debbie wanted to go and see her dog. The next day her sister came back to the PARC to get Debbie for the second time. I visited with her for quite some time to be sure that this is what she wanted. She told me that all her sister wanted was her money, but it was worth it to see her dog. Debbie never came back. When we didn't hear from her for over a week, we became concerned. One of our volunteers knew where her sister lived and went to check on her. She brought Debbie back to the PARC while we went to check with Salvation Army to find out what Debbie's options would be. The Salvation Army said that there was a place for her there and that her housing was almost ready; however, if she moved back in with her sister she would lose her housing. When we came back and explained the situation, Debbied adamantly said that she did not want to go back to Salvation Army. We reluctantly took her back to her sister's house.

This is not the ending that we would have wanted for her, but it is what we do at the PARC. We do all we can to help those who come move to a better place, but we always realize that the choice is theirs. We will be here when they are ready to come back and pick up where they left off.

Next month, the PARC will be closed September 1 - 4 for a Membership Drive. Our members will use that time to invite people to the PARC. September 8 will be a time to welcome them back as well as the new ones who come with a big breakfast and a whole slate of new classes and projects. We would love to have as many volunteers as possible, so if you can help please call us at 806.367.8024. the PARC is changing the lives of those who walk through our doors one step at a time. They are becoming aware of the possibilities and gaining the confidence to move towards them. We would love for you to be a part.