Paloma Bocanegra

Paloma Bocanegra (FSS Participant and Sons)

Perseverance, dedication, and hard work, are words that best describe Paloma Bocanegra, a participant on the Abilene Housing Authority (AHA) Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Family Self Sufficiency (FSS) Program. Paloma has been a tenant on the HCV Program since February 2011, and a participant on the FSS Program since April 2012.  Initially when approached about the FSS Program, Paloma admits to being a little reluctant and hesitant. But after gaining more knowledge about what the program was all about, and honing in on what it was that she wanted to accomplish for her and her family, the decision became easier.

Paloma said she found herself on the HCV program after separating from her husband, which also resulted in her becoming a single parent.  She says, “Luckily there is amazing programs like the AHA HCV Program that is willing to help people in these circumstances.”  Paloma sees the HCV Program as a hand up, not a hand out.  She also mentions that her intentions are not to stay on the program for long, but hopefully to become self-sufficient, so that she can provide a better life for her and her two boys.  She states “No one said that life was going to be easy, but if you wish to have a good life, you must obtain it with your own hands and with strong determination and strong faith.”

Paloma says that the reason she does what she does is so her children can grow up and understand that hard work is the only way to succeed in life whether it be in school, work, or relationships. “Working hard toward whatever goals they set before them is going to be the key to their success.” Paloma decided to go back to school, but admits that she knew it wasn’t going to be easy.  She says that in order to have a chance at a good career to benefit her and her family it was a must, and not a might. “Many people believe that doors are closed around them, but actually there is so much help out there that provide people the help they need in order to better themselves.”

Paloma is really excited about being on the FSS Program, she has set goals to graduate from college, repair her credit, and to one day own the home of her dreams.  She says that the FSS program is an amazing program for people like herself, a single mom, full time student, and a parent that works full time.  “The FSS Program is allowing me to grow financially as well as giving me the knowledge to be able to sustain myself and my family, with a goal of becoming self-sufficient.”  She encourages others to take hold of these amazing programs, and to use them to help reach their goals and desires.  “Nothing is impossible, but we have to work hard and never give up until you obtain those goals or dreams that you set for yourself.”