“Pursue a goal, stick to it, and with persistence you will achieve it,” shares Linda. “I had no idea that such a program like LaCasa’s IDA program even existed. If my pastor had not known about the program I would not be a home owner ...continue reading.
Carl and Laurie first contacted LaCasa last fall for assistance with building a wheelchair ramp because Carl had been having increasing problems with his heart. The doctor told him the heart problem, coupled with having given up one lung and part of the second one, would leave him unable to walk any distance... continue reading »
In earlier years Carl would have rather build something for his neighbors than to ask to have someone come to help him, but with his deteriorating health he and Laurie had few options. Besides his own problems, they were also concerned for their adult son living with them who would soon be having back surgery and was also facing the need for a wheelchair. Upon inspecting their house LaCasa discovered that they also had some seriously defective plumbing and decided to re-plumb the entire house. There were several windows that needed to be replaced to reduce the family’s fuel cost and to provide for their comfort since both father and son needed to spend considerable time sitting still. LaCasa was able to put together a combination of CDBG and NIP funding to cover the cost of the improvements and a contractor was hired to do the project. By the time the contractor was finished in February Carl had his new electric scooter and was able to visit around the neighborhood again on his own.
Today Carl is hoping that he can soon have heart bypass surgery to get his body strong enough to have a lung transplant if one should become available. Their son has moved in with their daughter and still has not had his back surgery because the doctor is concerned that he is as likely to become paralyzed as he is to improve. The family is grateful for the help that LaCasa has given them and they look forward to resolving more of their problems in the near future.
People from Taiwan, Philippines, Croatia, Russia, Mexico, South and Central America, Indonesia, Yemen, and many other countries come to our office for help with their immigration issues. The answer for many of them may be devastating for the future of their families but in other cases it may be rewarding. Experiences we never imagined have happened to many of our clients like Natasha from the former Soviet Union... continue reading »
Natasha was born in Russia to a Christian family. During the revolutionary years in Russia her family suffered and was persecuted for being Christians. She saw her father jailed and punished for following his beliefs. Her father suffered, as well as the family. Many years passed until her father came to America in exile in 1979. Since then Natasha has been thankful to this country because she believes that her life came back when her father and family were reunited in the U.S.A. As the first settlers who came to America looking for freedom of religion, her father did as well.
Her life story doesn’t end here. After she came to America she continues her life as a missionary helping people in Russia with their Christian beliefs. In one of those trips she met another missionary from Russia, named Peter. Natasha didn’t know how to bring Peter as her fiancé into the United States. As many people that come to LaCasa, Natasha heard about LaCasa by “word of mouth” from her friends. She said “Maria, I need your help because I feel helpless with all the information that is in the website of USCIS. We would like to continue our missionary life together, in order to do that I need your help.”
Natasha explained details about their relationship. I have to know part of my clients’ life story to help them achieve their plan. Natasha shared her life’s experience, and how sad she was to see her dad suffer humiliation for not agreeing with the political party during those years. After asking many questions about her fiancée and gathering the information I needed I explained all the process she would need to follow with the USCIS. She told me that she already filled out the application on behalf of her fiancé, but she was not sure if everything was complete in order for her to send it to USCIS. We helped her check and file her papers and continued working with her on the process until he finally arrived in the US with the K1 Visa.
The next step was to get married and to finish the arduous process of obtaining his Legal Permanent Card. We started filling out the applications needed in order for him to obtain a social security number. They had so many questions such as: Can I leave the country without any problem? Can we work as missionaries abroad? Will he be able to visit his mother who is elderly if she gets sick?
I told them to be optimistic because there was a good possibility that USCIS would recognize the good labor she and her future husband would be doing as missionaries. So we followed all the guidelines and complied with all the immigration requirements. Three months after I helped her to file the immigration documents on behalf of her husband, he received what many immigrant families need in order for them to be together, and for many to achieve their dream…. the “GREEN CARD”.
Submitted by Debbie Fath
My name is Lana. I’m a 28 year old single female house-owner and I am honored to have the opportunity to acknowledge LaCasa’s wonderful work by sharing my own story. A year ago I would never have thought of owning my own house. Then, life happened, and there I was looking at another move and yet another rental situation. Someone close to me surprised me by suggesting that I contact LaCasa and look into buying my own house... continue reading »
I felt hesitant and pretty skeptical of my ability to produce the time, energy, and money surely involved to undertake such an endeavor. I finally got over myself enough to make the first phone call, and it was a whole other story after that, if you will. I don’t think I can truly describe the ease and grace that marked my experience from start to finish with LaCasa; it was remarkable. And by “LaCasa”, I mean the amazing people behind the organization who were so kind, respectful, patient, and good at what they do. Every step was explained to me along the way and I always felt free to ask as many questions as I needed to. The process was guided (and I was supported) in such a way that I never felt overwhelmed, period. I think that’s pretty amazing. It was like I was being propelled along by the enthusiasm and encouragement of each knowledgeable staff member I came in contact with.
LaCasa found government grants that I was eligible for and helped me secure a loan to pay for the rest. They put a new roof on the house I was buying (as well as some other repairs). They provided very helpful Home Ownership Training and Financial Fitness Training, going out of their way in each training to create a welcoming environment and make the learning process relevant and enjoyable. On top of all this, they made a point of calling me as soon as they found out there was an IDA (Individual Development Account) available that I fit the criteria for. The money I deposited into a savings account would be matched 6 to 1 for the first two years and 3 or 4 to 1 for the subsequent two years! I was literally being handed thousands of dollars, free, to put towards my mortgage. What a rare gift. Throughout each of these processes the thought often crossed my mind, “This is too good to be true,” except that it simply wasn’t.
As you can see, in the end I was left with much more than just a house of my own. The staff at LaCasa is clearly committed to—not to mention very good at—empowering each individual they serve in any way possible. It was exciting and inspiring to be involved with an organization that infuses such life into its community.