When I moved to Juneau 16 years ago I knew I had found my old neighborhood. It wasn't Texas, but the people who live here very well could have been any one of my friends down the block.
Two years ago my son, whom at the time was 8, phoned me. He called to ask if he could live with me and in a heartbeat I said yes. I had no idea he would show up one week later. As of then, I began my life as a single parent. I found myself in need of immediate assistance. Our community stepped in and donated not only clothes, but toys and stuffed animals such as Fival the Mouse which my son, to this day, still cuddles at night.
Within that first week I knocked on every door of every agency I felt I needed, such as kid care, day care, etc... The response was quick, not to mention the high level of care and concern the workers expressed. It has been a great two years and the transition toward self-sufficiency is almost complete.
Several months ago my son's 12-year-old brother, who was in a foster home in Colorado, called asking, "Can I come live with you and my brother? I have nowhere to go." Once again the decision was easy. From there I contacted his case worker here in Alaska expressing my interest in obtaining custody. Suitable housing was a main concern and the home in which we were living in just wasn't going to work.
The future looked bleak until a miracle happened. Habitat for Humanity called and said I had qualified for a home to be built for the boys and I. Once again our community and private businesses came to the rescue. Our home is being built by an all-woman work force of whom our community should be very proud, and for which I have deep gratitude and respect. As of the date of this letter I am proud to say that a foster care license has been issued to me and the future looks bright and promising.
Thank you, Juneau, for showing what you're made of.
Alfred Votion and family