Neva's Story

Neva came to Genesis House, after sleeping in her car one chilly night, seeking shelter when she found herself and her young son no longer welcome in a friend's small apartment.

Neva remember the night well, "I had come back to the apartment to find our stuff in the hall. My friend's boyfriend told me 'you're outta here.' He and my son had been having trouble getting along, even though I was doing the cooking and some housework for them. Thankfully, my son was spending the weekend with his grandparents."  Her son was Neva's main motivation to move to New York. "My son is a bright boy who has always done well in math and likes to work with mechanical things," she said, "however, he was having great trouble learning to read and write. I read to him a lot when he was little and I'm still working with him to improve."

Neva felt the school district her son was enrolled in didn't possess the necessary abilities to identify a workable remedial course for him to achieve in. This prompted her move to the area. Neva's son is enrolled in the classes he needs and is reported to be doing much better.

Neva has been able to obtain work at a local restaurant and she and her son have found housing. Their lives are now on a more even course. She realizes how much the guidance she received at the Genesis House helped her. "it was strange when my son and I first moved into the Genesis House," she said. " We had to agree to a contract which outlined house rules such as pitching in with the chores, and honoring a curfew. They made me think about my life and the direction I was going. At first it sounded like a jail but we soon learned the rules were needed and easy to follow."

Neva has dreams for the future of owning a craft shop or restaurant. She is grateful for her experience at Genesis House, "I am so thankful they took me and my son in, it gave us a fresh start".

 His Story through the Staff Eyes

 This past summer Genesis House had a resident who taught English as a second language in Bulgaria and China. While he was there he became ill with cancer. He had surgery and received treatment in Bulgaria and his cancer was in remission for some time. So he decided to go to china to continue teaching. His cancer returned and the prognosis wasn’t good. The company that he was working for wouldn’t give him the funds for desperately needed for medical care so he decided to move back to the U.S. for more treatment. He stayed with a friend for a while but the treatments made him so ill that he was forces to leave there. That decision left him homeless. We took him to our men’s shelter (that had been opened for a year.) The cancer spread very quickly. We were able to expedite social security, medical care, and medical equipment. We did all the leg work to find him an apartment; obtain furniture and find all the household items he would need to make him comfortable and moved him in. We obtained visiting nurses and when he decided that he did not want to continue with his treatment anymore….Hospice was called. With the community support, we were able to help this man live with dignity and respect. Our staff and volunteers did everything that could be done to make the remainder of his life as good as possible.

He passed away on Wednesday August 4th, 2010.

 His Story Through his Eyes

            Hi. This isn’t great writing and it’s not in order. Perhaps it can be understood. It’s written with an attempt to say a bit of what I should. I’ve presently, no other means of reciprocating.
             In this life I’ve rarely encountered anything that has sincerely helped people. Too often, there’s a returned expected.
             This year I found myself quite suddenly displaced with conditions making my doing anything to be placed, beyond what creditable. With the support of friends, I was inundated in paperwork and phone circles while I stayed in their home. It wasn’t my plan for the year, it was imposed by Health.
             Now, I’m in an apartment which was found for me (upon my arrival) by the people at Genesis House, Olean, New York. Through the people at Genesis House, others donated furniture and amenities and placed them in the apartment. I moved into a clean and pleasant environment. I did nothing. Others did it all for me. I don’t know all of them and the only frustration I feel is my inability to delve thanks meaningfully enough.
              Some might assume I have sacrificed dignity. No one involved in recreating my being has asked me to feel this way. There are circumstances which can and do occur, which leaves me wondering how we would perceive them when more able.
               However my being is currently perceived, I’d be far more than foolish and evil if I didn’t feel grateful. If there is any significance to my being, what happened on my behalf was necessary.
                We live most of our lives not knowing there is help when we need. (Well, sometimes, there isn’t.)
                If anyone has an inclination to give, Genesis House is worthy. In this world it’s very difficult to believe, but of Genesis House what is done is real.
               We are a society in need of some study of how we help each other. There are those bitter with the needs of the unfortunate. It’s Understandable, life’s too hard and we all need what we do have. Yet in these lasts years, we have seen workplaces are not as eternal as they were and business are not granted success.
                Having people in dwellings is better for us than having them in the streets. Having the ill cared for is better than having them in the streets. These things are inherent of a decent life for both the fortunate and the unfortunate. My opinion is, Genesis House works to achieve better lives for individuals and makes it a better community.