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Woman gets second chance thanks to homeless housing program

Irene Sotelo is savoring a fresh start after the last few years.

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Irene Sotelo, 69, is savoring a fresh start after the last few years.

Five years ago, Sotelo became a victim of theft following complications from a failed intestinal surgery.

"I was evicted from my apartment because the in-home supportive care worker stole my money," Sotelo said. "And I couldn't make it up fast enough and I was evicted."

After years of being financially stable, Sotelo found herself living in a homeless shelter.

"It was like going to a different planet," Sotelo said. "It was really, really, really hard. I would walk down the street and just, wishing I was dead."

Luckily, Irene is now benefiting from a new program that provides housing to the homeless. The program, run by Sacramento Self-Help Housing, rents homes where several clients live as roommates and have 24-7 supervision.

Clients also receive one-on-one support from caseworkers to help get their life back on track.

Sotelo is now looking to start her own small business as a seamstress, and has a newfound optimism to regain her financial independence.

"I want to stay here as long as I can to make enough money to buy a couple acres," Sotelo said.