As long-term donors of Finding Freedom through Friendship, the staff and partners of Manuel’s Restaurants in Austin recognize that the most significant aspect of endemic poverty is homelessness. Our partnership has successfully placed twenty-six Guatemalan widows into donated homes that are legally deeded to them. When housing insecurity is removed from the list of urgent concerns of an already fragile family, the future outcomes are significantly brighter. Scarce income sources can be used for food rather than rent; concrete floors replace mud, and families grow healthier once placed in waterproof housing.
Meeting the critical needs of widows and their children in two hemispheres is a daunting challenge for a small nonprofit with an all-volunteer board and no paid staff. Our inspiration comes from our scholarship students who desire an education so deeply that they walk miles to school; from Mayan mothers who live a life of manual labor
most of us could not endure, and from our Egyptian widows determined to overcome financial constraints that stand in the way of economic self-sufficiency. Placing one hundred and sixty women and children into lifelong and generational housing has been an adventure and a discovery process. Watching our program participants regain their health through the Finding Freedom nutritional program is as rewarding as observing the educational achievements of our scholarship recipients.
As the saying goes, “It takes a village.”
Thank you Manuel’s, for being part of our circle of concern.