On Sept. 21, I was taking photos of the Children’s Garden and Museum – Yes, I know you just said to yourself “what Children’s Garden?” So, for a very pleasant surprise drive by it out at the corner of Tenth street and Harris behind the Library and Chase Bank. The pictures I took are going to a large Northern California Company to solicit their support in Down Town Hanford. Next, I started taking pictures of China Alley to send with the Garden Photos. Just as I finished a clean-cut guy walked out of the Alley with a bag in his hand and a huge smile on his face. He walked over to me and said, “are you from out of town?” I said, “No I am from here.” He said - still holding that huge smile – “do you know WestCare?” I said “No.” He said “They are right here. I am a homeless Veteran and they are helping me get restarted.”
He held up the bag and said, “These are the clothes I got from WorkingMans Store.” “WestCare also got me a connection that I found out was not an Unemployment Office – It is an employment Office and I got a job through them.” “And now WestCare is working on finding a place for me to stay and they are going to help me get started there.”
I went to WorkingMans Store to thank Tim. He was at the bank but the ladies in the store were very pleased the program was being used so positively and they knew Tim would be very pleased. I went home and told the story to my wife with some moisture in my eyes. Then I found and went into WestCare’s Veterans Office on China Alley. The lady that helped the Veteran is Angela Castellanos and I thanked her. Angela told me that “the job search and discovery was done by Adam Bode at the EDD job office and that Adam put lots of special effort and time into placing the veteran. With the help of Erica Sanchez, Angela expects to have housing for the veteran assisted with some financial startup funding support from WestCare. That, my neighbors, is an encounter with the Soul of Hanford. The Veteran was still holding a huge smile when he left me-choked up with pride in our City and people.