“I do a great job,” says Heather, smiling with pride. Every weekday, she rises at 5 a.m. She walks 20 minutes and catches a 6:40 a.m. bus so she arrives by 7 a.m. at Red Robin restaurant near Northlake Mall. Heather is responsible for cleaning the bathrooms, sweeping and mopping the floor, and taking out the trash so the restaurant can open by 11 a.m.
“We love her,” says Heather’s manager, Arynn. “She’s wonderful. Absolutely wonderful. She works hard, she’s always here, she’s never late. I’m so glad to see her doing so well.” Arynn says Heather’s janitorial work is crucial to the restaurant’s success.
Heather has made steady progress since Roof Above helped her move out of a shelter and into an apartment in June. Interviewing with Arynn was a miracle in itself. It turns out Arynn has a heart for helping people who need a boost. “It feels so good to see people getting on the right path,” says Arynn. “Nobody’s perfect. We all make mistakes. But if you continue to do the next right thing, you can’t go wrong.”
Arynn likes to remind Heather the hard times are over. “I push her a little too,” she says.
“I like that,” says Heather.
“I know,” Arynn smiles.
Arynn says Heather reminds her life is all about community. “Together we can do anything,” Arynn says. “But we have to believe in each other.”