Searching for the White Landlady Who Saved My Immigrant Family, I Found America

Exhausted, my mother sat on the stoop of one of the four-story brick buildings that dotted our old neighborhood of Borough Park, Brooklyn. It was cold, but she was too tired to care. She had dropped my siblings and me off at school and, in the few hours that remained before our return, she had to weigh her options carefully. Her circumstances were bleak - jobless and penniless with three children. And now she was homeless after being turned away by her community acquaintances who didn't have the room, money or patience to put up with the charity case that our family had become."I sat there watching the other families walking down the street," my mother recalled 33 years later, as we sat together drinking tea in the living room of my large Massachusetts colonial. "The young Hasidic mothers with their children and all of the kind, Hispanic women in the neighborhood would walk past me and go into their homes. And I realized that I didn't have a home to bring my children to. We were going to have to go into a homeless shelter. It was the worst feeling as a mother."  Continue reading...

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