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Poverty and Childhood

This month’s blog is written by the son of one of our staff members, Jessica. Jessica and her son Dwayne were residents at Saint John’s when Dwayne was just a young boy. Today, Jessica is employed at Saint John’s full-time as a Client Services Coordinator and Dwayne is a student at Sierra College. As I’m sure you’ll see in the blog, Dwayne captures the struggles that he and his mom…

Creating a New Kind of Home

When I first met Vanessa in 2019, what struck me most was her quiet confidence. She appeared calm when focusing on her five children (ages 2-9), composed when encountering customers at Plates Café, and projected an overall sense of being in total control. Little did I know the true story behind Vanessa’s kind eyes. When asked what life was like before coming to Saint John’s, Vanessa replies with one word, “Chaotic.”  While chaos…

Casie’s Real Change

  “I can’t believe the change in me!” Those are the first words out of her mouth as Casie J. shares with me her experience at Saint John’s. Struggling with addiction and lured into drug dealing by the money to be made, Casie’s life began to spiral after her divorce. She’d had a history of periods of sobriety interspersed with lapses into using, dealing and jail time. After her last…

Distance Learning – The Return of the One-room School House

  Growing up, I always knew I wanted to be a teacher.  In fact, I dreamed about what it would be like to run a one-room school house, like on Little House on the Prairie.  Little did I know that I would one day do just that, but in a very different way, in a very different time, and with very different students. With six weeks of distance learning under…

The Luckiest Year

It is Chinese New Year 2020, the Year of the Rat, and a cold, dark January evening here in Sacramento. Rats, as I have read in Chinese lore, represent resilience and rat years are supposed to be years of rejuvenation and renewal. I see this as a positive sign as I head out to meet some friends for an evening at Saint John’s Program for Real Change. We are hosting…


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