Harmony House Helps Father-Daughter Regain Their Self-Sufficiency
It was two years ago, at the same time Robert Warren’s mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, that things started to go downhill for this single father. Warren, who was raising his teenage daughter, ended up leaving a good job to help his father take care of his mother as her condition worsened. She passed away right before Memorial Day last year.
But to make matters worse, a disagreement with his father suddenly resulted in Warren becoming homeless with no place to go.
“My daughter could have stayed, but I told my father she was my responsibility,” Warren said.
That is when Warren and his daughter, Bianca, 16, ended up at Harmony House, New Community’s transitional housing facility for the homeless. According to Warren, it was the best thing that could have happened to them.
“From the bottom of my heart, I really owe the staff at Harmony House so much,” said Warren, 52, who moved into Harmony House with his youngest daughter in late May of 2013. (He also has three grown children who live independently)
Bianca Warren, who is in her high school marching band—she plays seven instruments— and is also a member of the girls basketball team, found that Harmony House exceeded any vision she had of a facility for the homeless.
“It’s like an apartment building, it’s like having a family..everybody helps you and makes sure you get what you need,” said Bianca.
Although the average stay at Harmony House is six to nine months, the goal is to always get families back on their feet so they can once again become self-sufficient. Thanks to the support of the Harmony House staff, Warren and his daughter were able to start the New Year in their own three-bedroom apartment, located just a few blocks from Harmony House.
Robert Warren credits his Harmony House caseworker, Adelina Lopez, with helping him land the job that allowed him to afford the new “home” for him and his daughter.
“I had worked for 31 years at four different (car) dealerships. She took me in the computer room at Harmony House and helped me improve upon my resume and do a job search. Two jobs called me and I ended up taking one of them,” said Warren, who has been employed fulltime as an automotive technician at Valvoline Oil Change in Springfield since last June.
Lopez said the father and daughter were extremely cooperative and “complied with everything since day one.”
“Everything I asked him to do, he did it. He is a warm, responsible person and his daughter is very outgoing and just a nice young lady. I am so glad Harmony House could help them,” she said.