Tanya has always loved animals. After high school, she turned that love into a career and became a veterinary technician. “It was really hard to give that up…but when I was diagnosed with a pituitary tumor I had in 2006, I had no choice.” Even after surgery and radiation, Tanya remains mobility impaired, getting around only with the use of a wheelchair. Because of this, she still couldn’t return to work and she began the long process of getting on disability. “It took two years and because of the medical bills, I had to declare bankruptcy.”
Each month, Tanya relies on disability of $756 and $16 of food stamps. She inherited her house which is “a blessing.” But it’s still hard. “I go to food banks two to three times a month and come here once a month. My daughter helps out when she can, but I don’t like to ask for help, and I don’t want to take things unless I have to. There are people out there who need it more than I do.”
St. Francis House is more than just a place to get help. Often the staff are the friendly ear when things seem too tough to handle. “I was raised to work, to pay into Social Security, to give back to the neighborhood. It’s hard to keep from feeling frustrated and depressed sometimes. The people here always take time to talk”.