I am Susan Bowyer and I donate to Neighborhood House because they were there for me.
I was an Oakland University PhD student, married, with a household income of about $60,000. Then, one year after my son was born; an unexpected divorce changed our lives. I was soon on a fixed income of $15,000 per year, which barely covered rent and utilities. I knew that if I could just finish school we would be able to get back on track and I could find a good job to support us.
I turned to Neighborhood House.
Neighborhood House allowed me to focus on my future and my son. I went to Neighborhood House for food at their Food Pantry and clothes for the two of us at the Clothes Closet. My son was growing up fast and growing out of clothes quickly. Without Neighborhood House, I would have had to face the pressure of quitting school to work to keep my family of two fed and clothed.
I am so thankful that because of donors like you, Neighborhood House was there for me. Years later, I am now a Medical Physicist and the Scientific Director of the Neuro-magnetism Lab at Henry Ford Hospital. I am also proud to have been elected to serve on the Rochester Hills City Council.
Neighborhood House focuses on the long-term goals of their neighbors in need. Their staff works with individuals and families on budgeting, counseling, job coaching, and more to bring their neighbors to self-sustainability, just as they did for me.
When my son was 2 years old, he received a University of Michigan football helmet from the Clothes Closet. Now 22, he will be graduating from U of M in May and has job offers for electrical and computer engineering.
I donate to Neighborhood House to pay it forward and help the next person in line. For two years we relied on Neighborhood House for our food and clothing. When the stress and the pressure to quit school in order to work mounted against me, Neighborhood House was there to provide the clothing and food we needed and encouraged me to fulfill my dream of finishing school and starting my long-term career.
I encourage you to support your neighbors in need this holiday season. Donors like you allowed me to provide for my son and ultimately achieve a life of self-sustainability.
Emily loved her family and her country. She served in the special forces, leaving her young daughter with her parents while she was deployed. Emily excelled in the service gaining experience and training that she dreamed of bringing to civilian life and building a future with her daughter.
Emily earned an honorable discharge and came home to find the transition to civilian life was not so easy. Emily lost her parents shortly after her discharge. The job market was not an easy place for a veteran with a young child and her limited savings quickly ran out. Emily came to Neighborhood House for rent assistance, food and clothing for herself and her daughter.
On her last visit, a gas card enabled her to get to a job interview with a local automotive company. With job coaching and interview support, Emily got the job that provided an income and benefits for her to support her and her daughter. We are thankful for Emily’s service to her country and honored to be able to help her find success for her and her daughter.
Neighborhood House staff met Tim when he came into our office, desperate to resolve his potential eviction and threat of utility shutoff as his world was shattering. His wife Kimberly lay in hospice with just a few days left to live. Tim’s three children were struggling as Kimberly’s four year courageous fight with cancer was ending, not as they had hoped it would.
Kimberly was the love of Tim’s life and they were married 23 years ago. Together they worked hard to build a home and family. Cancer was not part of the plan. They never imagined this illness would leave them struggling for food, shelter and emotional support. Tim fought the cancer every step of the way with Kimberly, caring for her until hospice had to step in. The cost of insurance limited their health care options and Tim stepped in to provide the support his wife and children needed during this family crisis.
Neighborhood House helped Tim find his footing as he endured the grief of losing his wife and caring for his children alone. With assistance, the family was able to stay in their home. Today they are making major steps forward, living in the home where they shared so many family times, getting back to work, and honoring the memory and love of their wife and mother.
Norma Jean was successful in her 30+ year career in management at a major retailer. She was an energetic 60 year old single woman, ready to and willing to work 10 or more years before thinking about retiring with her social security and savings. An unexpected company buyout and downsizing suddenly found her unemployed, hungry and depressed on the steps of Neighborhood House. Her savings gone, hopeless as job after job interview yielded no new income, she lost her car, her utilities were shut off and she was about to be evicted with nowhere to go.
Neighborhood House was able to step in and help her stay in her home, provided her with counseling and paired her with a mentor to help her develop and execute a new plan. Job coaching and interview support helped her dust off her resume. Norma Jean received several job leads. With Neighborhood House’s growing program support, Norma Jean is back working hard, becoming self-sufficient and happy in the new career she found in health care.