Gabriel Grove's Story
Approximately 12 years ago, Gabriel and her three young children ages 1, 3 and 5 years old fell on hard times and found themselves living at People’s Emergency Center for about six months.
Gabriel had never expected to live in a shelter and was uncertain what to expect. She had no idea of what homelessness meant. She found the rules challenging, yet appreciated the rules and the goals set for residents.
When she left the shelter, Gabriel says she “came out with a sense of gratefulness.” She was employed while living in shelter and following her shelter stay. She continued her education, receiving a degree in leadership from Peirce College. She has been an active volunteer in the community, serving those experiencing homelessness at the Old Pine Community Center in Society Hill and working to raise awareness about multiple sclerosis.
In 2016, Gabriel knew she wanted to give back in a bigger way. Relying on her first-hand experience of living in shelter, she decided to provide free toiletries and give away food and clothing to those in need through her charity, the For Her Sake Foundation Inc.
Early in 2018, Gabriel found the Homeless Health Initiative's website and asked how she could get involved. She came to the spring HHI stakeholder meeting and found a calling in helping to plan the first Keys to Success Job Fair for families experiencing homelessness. She was an active participant in both planning and implementing the fair.
During this journey, Gabriel was hired as a temp by Philadelphia Housing Management Corp., has been working at HELP Philadelphia since last fall and hopes to move into a full-time permanent job. She is planning to obtain her master’s degree in human resource management. Gabriel is clearly an inspirational woman who has used life’s adversities to strengthen her and propel her to give back to others.
Gabriel says, “Our greatest contributions to the world are our acts of kindness towards others.”
Gabriel is leading by example, truly making her contribution and leaving a mark on Philadelphia. She shares her work with her children to inform them of life’s harsh realities and encourage them to also want to give back.