My Sixteenth Street Story | Alejandro


“To talk with her relaxed me. It made me feel calm. Not everybody you meet is like Ana. She is a great social worker. And you can feel how much she wants to help you. To help everyone. I don’t see Ana much anymore because I am doing well. It’s a good thing. She is a big reason I’ve gotten to this place.”

I am a single dad with three sons and one daughter. I was going through a tough time with my family, and my kids’ pediatrician at the clinic, Dr. Enriquez, recommended I see Ana, the social worker. I needed help with things that were very difficult for me, like getting social security for my children that have special needs, filling out papers for food stamps and other legal issues like divorce and custody. I don’t know a lot of English and I don’t have a very high level of education. Filling out paperwork in English and understanding the system was nearly impossible for me. Ana was wonderful. She helped me with everything. She helped with the social security, food stamps and connecting me with legal help. Ana does everything she can to help you.

Now I have full custody of my children and they are signed up to have what they need. The most important thing is that I am there for them. I am the only thing they have. People ask me how I do it all alone. How I’ve stayed with them and not run. And I tell them, I’m proud to be there for my children. I’m proud they are my children. They need me.

I admit it is difficult. Being a single, working parent with two children that have special needs is hard. But I focus on being calm, collected and taking things as they come. When you get too angry or too stressed, you can get sick and bad things can happen. I can’t get sick. I need to be healthy and strong for my kids.

Ana is also great for that. Every time we had an appointment, as a social worker she guided me and told me what I needed to do, but she was also there to talk with me as a person. Talk about what I was going through. She listened to me and was another ear to hear my story, another point of view. I don’t have anyone to talk to. I am alone. To talk with her relaxed me. It made me feel calm. Not everybody you meet is like Ana. She is a great social worker. And you can feel how much she wants to help you. To help everyone. I don’t see Ana much anymore because I am doing well. It’s a good thing. She is a big reason I’ve gotten to this place.

This is why the clinic is so important. Because of people like Ana and Dr. Enriquez. They speak Spanish. They understand me and I can express myself. They make me feel comfortable and calm. I remember asking Dr. Enriquez where he was from and talking about all the similarities between our home towns. I can relate to him just like I can relate to Ana. And know my kids and I are cared for by someone who understands us. It’s really very good.

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