Veronica

veronica (2)

Age: 43

Marital Status: Married

Occupation:  Teacher

Do you have children?  Yes, two.

How long have you lived in Pomona? 22 years…no, 21.  As long as I have been married.

What brought you here? Jesus.

What is the best thing about living in Pomona?  Pomona has character.  It is a great mix.  It has history and a mix of classes and cultures.  It is where God has put us and it’s our home.  God is moving here.  Even though it is tough here sometimes, there is a real movement of the Holy Spirit in this city.

Where are your favorite places to be in Pomona? I love Pomona’s Downtown, the Art Walk, Lincoln Park, First Presbyterian Church, Ganesha Park, and my own backyard.

What is the worst thing about living here? I don’t feel like I can go out and be in nature.  I don’t feel comfortable about my own safety when jogging or just walking.  There is a lack of infrastructure for those types of activities here.  It is also really expensive to rent or buy a home here.  We are lucky that we got into a house earlier, but for many others it is very hard these days to buy a home.

Can you talk about one significant event that happened during your time  in Pomona?   Wow, so many significant things have happened here.  The first things I think of are when I lived on Texas Street, and the area was basically in the middle of a gang territorial war between Cherryville and 12th Street.  There were 5 shootings in my neighborhood during that time.  My daughter’s best friend’s uncle was shot in his driveway.  Our home was part of a crime scene, and a drunk guy driving down our street almost hit me.  I was even part of an episode of “COPS”.

But during that time, I also had some of the best times of my life.  Our kids had all Hispanic friends and they played in the street with each other.  Friends came over and visited each other’s homes all the time.  That was the irony, the dichotomy.  In the midst of all the suffering, there was joy.  Now we live in a quieter place, a nicer neighborhood, but our kids were actually happier in the old neighborhood.

How has living in Pomona changed you? It has made me realize that I am very hard-hearted.  Through dealing with the poor and their problems, and through dealing with people with chronic need, I’ve realized I truly can’t love people without God.  It needs to be all God and not me because I am often annoyed. I hear people’s problems and I feel like saying, “Just Get It Together!”.  God has shown me that I am just as needy, and I’ve seen that I am not naturally as loving as I should be.

How have you changed Pomona? We’ve just stayed here and been here when people needed help.  When people were in times of crisis, we were there to help.  We’ve been there to help raise other people’s children who were in hard situations. We would read with them and help them with their homework.  Through our kids, we’ve been able to meet other kids and be a blessing to others who didn’t have our resources.

However, we have had the far greater blessing.  Pomona has blessed us and humbled us.  My husband and I have realized how arrogant and cocky we can be.  We’ve seen how selfish we are without Jesus.

Pomona’s city motto is “Vibrant, Safe and Beautiful”.  What motto would you choose for Pomona? Ha, ha, ha!  That’s really the motto?  I would pick, “Quirky, Edgy, and Gritty”.

Any last thoughts you’d like to share? Pomona rocks!

.com plug: Veronica loves to get books into the hands of people who need them.  If you have books that need a new home, please contact her at vgmckelvey@msn.com

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