UWSC Success Story

Stranded No More
Oakland Resident Turns to United Way of Stanislaus County in Hopes of Getting Home

David walked into United Way of Stanislaus County’s administration office on Thursday, November 28th with quite the dilemma. David was on his way home to Oakland from Fresno and found himself stranded in Modesto. With no money, no help, and no hope, David walked into United Way’s office and he walked out with much more…

David’s brother bought him a Greyhound bus ticket to get home to Oakland but David had accidently gotten on the wrong bus and was dropped off in Modesto. Greyhound couldn’t help David because he wasn’t the one who purchased the ticket and he found himself stranded here without the money to buy another bus ticket.

Around 4 pm on the 28th, David saw United Way’s office and decided to walk in and ask for help. Frances Bernal-Ramirez, 2-1-1 Outreach Specialist and Linda Tagholm, 2-1-1 Program Manager listened to David’s story and felt his desperation, “Man, I just want to get home, can you please help me?” David asked.

Linda called the Greyhound Station, David had the original ticket stub and Linda was hoping that would help. The operator knew the story and confirmed David’s position. They were not willing to assist him other than selling him another ticket for the following day. Facing the same dead-end David did, Linda put in a call to the Outreach and Engagement Center and spoke with Christina Kenney, Turning Point Program Director, to explain David’s circumstances and at the very least- make sure he would have a warm place to stay for the night. After hearing David’s story, Christina was able to arrange an overnight stay at Garden Gate Respite and purchase a new bus ticket for David to get home. Christina picked up David from United Way but before they left Linda gave him some dry clothes, hygiene products, clean socks and a reminder to call 2-1-1 when he arrived in Oakland if he needed any services in the future. David may have entered United Way with no help, but he left with a warm bed, new friends and a way home to his family.


David (11/28/18) at United Way looking for a helping hand… but what he received was so much more. David left knowing help will never be too far away.

*Name has been changed to protect client's privacy