Holiday Fund: Meet Elisa, 4, Helper of the Week | November 27, 2013 | Almanac | Almanac Online |


Cover Story - November 27, 2013

Holiday Fund: Meet Elisa, 4, Helper of the Week

InnVision Shelter Network benefits from donations to the Almanac's Holiday Fund.

By Maria Duzon, associate director of marketing, InnVision Shelter Network.

No one would guess that Elisa, a bright, bubbly 4-year-old, was experiencing homelessness. A few months ago, Elisa moved with her mother and older sister to InnVision Shelter Network's (IVSN) transitional shelter for families. They left their home to escape from a domestic violence situation, but had no place to turn to.

At first, Elisa was closed off and easily upset. She began attending IVSN's on-site Therapeutic Child Development Center, where she worked with trained teachers who showed her how to express herself in a healthy way.

Over time, Elisa became one of the most enthusiastic children at IVSN. She thoughtfully supported other children in the class, and always made sure to clean up after arts & crafts activities. As a result, Elisa received the "Helper of the Week" award!

Elisa loves to spend time with her family. She looks up to her 11-year-old sister, Sarah, who is a GATE student and excels in school.

Their devoted mother, Sugei, works hard as a waitress, and she is saving money while receiving services at InnVision Shelter Network. The family meets regularly with mental health counselors at IVSN to work through their traumatic past and make progress toward a self-sufficient future.

Elisa is fortunate to have the support of her family and the IVSN community. She hears that Santa will be coming to the shelter this holiday, and she knows just what to ask for: a new home for her family.

InnVision Shelter Network provides shelter and supportive services for homeless families and individuals across the Peninsula and Silicon Valley. For more information, visit or call 650-685-5880.


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