Irene’s Story

Over the years, Irene Antoinette Martell has watched Silicon Valley evolve into an extremely diverse community. “There have been a lot of highly educated people moving to the area, but the technology boost has made it difficult for older people, blue collar workers, and farmers to find jobs. We cannot compete,” says Irene. As a native to the San Jose area, Irene strives to advocate for others in the local community. 
After Irene retired, her need for resources in the local community grew tremendously. She was also diagnosed with a mental disability. Throughout her career, Irene knew of Sourcewise in her role working within Cal-Works for Santa Clara County. Irene laughed as she stated, “In the 1980s, during resource fairs, I would stop by the Council on Aging [Sourcewise] booth, and sit and chat with the volunteers…they would refer to me as the ‘youngin’.” 
Irene contacted Sourcewise when she received an unexpected eviction notice. She spoke with a Community Resource Specialist, and together they discussed possible solutions to help with her delicate situation. She was able to receive the resources and support needed to remain in her home.
Irene says, “Sourcewise is a candle. The employees…are the light to that candle. When the volunteers [employees] help people like me, we see the glow and feel the warmth they give.”
Irene is a soft-spoken, caring woman, who has dedicated her life to helping others. She continues to stay positive and receives support from her three children, her faith, and her community.
Irene’s story is one of the 36,000 individuals positively impacted by Sourcewise in 2014/15. Sourcewise strives to educate, prepare, support, and advocate for all adults, their families, and caregivers within Santa Clara County.
To find services available to you and your loved ones, call a Community Resource Specialist at (408) 350-3200, press option 1; or email:

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