Hope for the holidays: Alameda Point Collaborative
October 20, 2006 was an unforgettable day in Violeta Espinoza’s life: It was the day the folks out at the Alameda Point Collaborative handed her the keys to her own apartment.
On that day, Espinoza, a mother of two, opened the door to her own place and also to a bevy of resources that helped her into a job and toward another important goal.
“I’m about being the best mother for my kids,” she said.
Espinoza was pregnant with her daughter when a friend told her that the collaborative had announced its one-week application process for openings. She was tired of bouncing around and living with relatives. So she applied, she said, and was “blessed” with a good enough lottery number to land a home at the Point.
But the collaborative provided more than just a roof over Espinoza’s head. It offered childcare, resources to help Espinoza overcome postpartum depression and anxiety and job training.
Espinoza took it from there, proving herself by taking on extra jobs at the collaborative. A few months ago she submitted a second application to APC – for a job. A week after her interview she was hired as a property management clerk, one of only two residents to ever be hired at the collective.
Now, Espinoza is dealing with the adjustment of having kids in school, a job to go to, and bills to pay. But she’s got the right attitude for handling her new challenges.
“Things will only get done if you get out there and do them,” she said.
The collaborative provides a home to 500 residents, more than half of them children. In addition to the services Espinoza took advantage of, it offers health services and substance counseling. The collaborative also operates a bike shop and a commercial nursery and urban farm.
Its holiday wish list includes gifts and gift certificates for teens, wreaths and Christmas trees, in addition to a list of ongoing needs on its website. APC’s also looking for volunteers to serve a holiday meal or just to help out. And the collaborative could also use cash donations: $50 can buy a welcome basket with essentials for new families.
Interested in helping out? Click here.