Norman, a CHS client, found his guardian angel in Tamberly Stone, Program Coordinator at CHS’ Oakdale Family Resource and Counseling Center.
“From the moment I met Tamberly, I could feel that she wanted to help me any way that she could,” Norman recalled. “I looked horrible, I probably stunk, I was living in an old torn-up trailer.”
That day in 2014 that Norman first stepped foot in the Oakdale Family Resource and Counseling Center, he felt hopeless. He had been turned away from multiple shelters due to a medical condition and mental illness.
“Norman came to us in a dark time in his life, when he was in addiction and homeless,” Tamberly said. “He would yell and scream and lose his cool. Every time, I would encourage him and tell him I would be here next time. He captured my heart early on.”
Whether food, clothing, toiletries or friendly smiles, Norman finally found a place to turn to and someone who saw him for more than his addiction or illness.
“The resource center is a place where people come – not just for services – but for support, and they return when they need something or just to say hi,” Tamberly said. “We are so much more to the community than our services. Sometimes people just need to be heard; they need a listening ear and an ounce of compassion.”
CHS also has Family Resource Centers (FRC) in Ceres, Patterson and Newman that offer the same kind of support and services for individuals and families.
After two years of continuous visits, Norman stopped coming. But a few months later, he returned to say thank you. He had been living in a residential drug and alcohol treatment center where he overcame his addiction.
“I almost cried,” Tamberly shared. “The transformation was remarkable. He beat the odds. He was clean and sober and I had never seen him looking so good. I was so fiercely proud of him.”
Since becoming sober in April of 2017, Norman now rents a room, is looking for a job, reconnected with family, and attends a church where he’s expanded his troop of guardian angels. But to Norman, Tamberly is the most faithful.
“I have what I have today and I am who I am today because of people like Tamberly,” Norman said. “She’s never given up on me.”
For more information, visit www.centerforhumanservices.org/oakdalefrc.
Center for Human Services
Norman – CHS Client
Oakdale Family Resource & Counseling Centerz