Hellena Beaver is a quiet person, maybe even shy.
So for the wife and mom of a family recently evicted from their Swampscott home to receive well wishes and help from people she does not know is a new experience, even overwhelming — but in a good way, she said.
“I’m a private person, so all of this is a lot for me,” she said yesterday in a phone conversation. She spoke slowly and sounded grateful and like someone who has not been sleeping. She works the overnight shift at North Shore Medical Center.
She said the community's response to her family's difficulties has been a welcome surprise, a blessing.
"It's been wonderful, I didn't know it would go this far," she said.
The Beavers found out Friday that they have a place to stay in town for several days.
It was a door that opened for them at just the right time, since they were facing homelessness as of yesterday.
A single mom whose kids are away this week opened her home to the Beaver family for several days while she has the space.
Hellena, her husband, Carlton, and their children Nashayla, 9, Jaz, 7, and Mirrell, 3, met the woman on Friday.
“She is a beautiful woman,” said Hellena. “It was a shock. Wow. That someone would open their house to us.”
Even her kids have expressed surprise.
“The kids are like, ‘Wow, they are going to let us stay with them — we didn’t know people did stuff like this,’” she said.
Hellena is happy that her children have seen that they are not alone and that people outside the family care about them, she said.
In addition, the family found out that someone or some group has donated to them a two-week stay at a hotel.
These stays will help the working family save money as they seek a new place to live.
Hellena works overnight as a unit technician at North Shore Medical Center.
Up until recently, Carlton was working two jobs, as a Lifebridge case manager for homeless people and as a teen coordinator.
He had to give up the coordinator position because of health problems so he has only one job, now.
Family friend Scot Cohen, who has spearheaded the effort to help the Beavers get back on their feet, says they can afford $1,400 a month for a rent payment now that Carlton has only one job.
They want to continue to live in Swampscott, their home for three years, and are looking for a rental in town.
Part of Scot’s effort has been to spread the word about a bank account set up at a credit union in Lynn where people can make financial donations to help the Beavers.
Community Credit Union of Lynn, One Andrew St., Lynn, MA 01901
In addition, a local author, Jason P. Stadtlander has set up an online account to help the family at http://www.indiegogo.com/thebeavers
The goal is to raise $5,000.
Also, a woman who runs a Shakespeare Camp in Salem has offered to give the Beaver children a free week at the camp including lunch.
For more information about their situation in Friday’s Patch.