EVERYDAY HEROES: Mom likes atmosphere at Habitat, helping others

Brenda Ramos has worked on the front line as a single mother. She looks for small ways to improve the experience of those she serves.

For many single moms, coping with the pandemic has been particularly difficult. Despite many issues, Brenda Ramos has spent the past year on the front year – previously as a home health worker, and now as a cashier at the Habitat for Humanity.

One of the greatest challenges for retail work is upholding social distancing mandates, and for workers at Habitat for Humanity, they were no exception.

“It has been a bIt been difficult sometimes as people come in. In the past year, it has been hard to get people to wear their masks in the store. Though recently we’ve let that go with restrictions having been lifted, it has been hard trying to keep people 6 feet apart,” she said.

Front-line workers like Ramos have had to place marks on the floor to remind customers to stay apart, but sometimes they would not comply and would bunch up in groups.

“Some people have also refused to wear masks, and in that case, we’d ask them to put them on,” said Ramos.

At certain times, Habitat for Humanity would stock disposable masks that customers could wear. At other times, customers could buy masks, bandanas, or scarves to use as face coverings.

“When a customer would refuse, we’d do our best to find a mask for them. We would even provide them one if we had them on hand,” she said.

She got a job at Habitat for Humanity because she enjoys the quiet atmosphere. As a part of her duties, she rings people up, organizes clothes, cleans up the floor, picks up what people have left in the dressing rooms, and prices merchandise.

Habitat has also been accommodating when she has had to bring her 3-month-old to work.

“It has been really hard because I’m a single parent, and I don’t have people I can regularly leave him home with,” she said.

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