Meet our BIPOC Outreach ABLE NRC Ambassadors

Hector Ramirez

Individual with Autism and Bipolar Disorder
Canoga Park, CA
ABLE Program: California

Latino Chiricahua Apache, Two Spirits on the Board of Directors for Disability Rights California and National Disability Rights Network. ABLE funds are being saved to maintain a safety net while working to be self-sufficient.

Hector Ramirez in front of new home

Héctor Ramírez Highlight from the May 2019 AchievABLE Newsletter

Héctor Ramírez is a Latino Chiricahua Apache, Two Spirits who is also a member of the LGBTQ community. Up until last month, Héctor was living in a one-bedroom apartment in Canoga Park, California. Ze* was sleeping on a mattress on the floor in the “dining room” so that hir* mom could have the bedroom. As an individual with Autism and Bipolar Disorder, Héctor is ABLE-eligible and has been saving funds in hir ABLE account to maintain a safety net while working to become self-sufficient. Héctor has also been saving for a home, something ze would not have been in a position to do if it were not for hir ABLE account through CalABLE. A lifelong disability rights advocate, Héctor knows that hir story and goals are shared by others in the disability community that ze helps to serve through hir work on the Board of Directors for Disability Rights California and National Disability Rights Network.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and we can think of no story more powerful to share with our friends and ABLE-eligible members of the Mental Health Community this month than that of our ABLE NRC Ambassador, Héctor Ramírez. Just last week, Héctor finalized the purchase on a new home with a down payment made possible by the funds in hir ABLE account. Last Thursday, ze got the keys to hir new home and got busy right away putting in new floors and painting it just the right color in time for Mother’s Day weekend, as a gift to hir mom who will be living there as well. They are thrilled to be out of the one-bedroom apartment and Hector is happy to no longer be sleeping on the floor. They even got a new bed for the dog. Héctor now owns a home and doesn’t think ze will ever have to move again.

Hector shares that, “I feel like this is a dream that is not happening but it is. My ABLE account has helped me in ways I did not think it would. I came into this program because I wanted to have a safety net for when my benefits were not there so that I would not end up homeless. And instead, I am moving into a new home for me and my mom. I have met some of my new neighbors and their families. While it’s only a couple of miles from where I used to live, I can’t help but think that even the skies look different. I have been waking up with so much excitement, it feels like being on the top of a rollercoaster about to start the ride, just about to plunge into the experience. I am so excited to start this new part of my life!”

* Ze and hir are the most popular forms of gender-free pronouns in the online LGBTQ community.

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