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Faces of Recovery

Liz Oxhorn, Recovery Act Communications Director, relays the most meaningful evidence of all on the Recovery Act - real stories from real Americans.

As we’ve been following CNN’s Stimulus Project coverage this week, we’ve noticed that, like us, they’re meeting Americans across the country who are finding work, growing their businesses, buying their first homes and receiving needed financial assistance thanks to the Recovery Act.  Here is just a sampling of some of the people who have told CNN the Recovery Act is making a difference for their families and their communities.

Michael Johnson of Orlando, FL said the Recovery Act's Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-housing Program is “truly is an impactful program.” “This truly is an impactful program. That my kids could wake up in their own rooms on Christmas morning and walk out to the Christmas tree. I mean we never thought we’d have a place to put a Christmas tree.” [CNN, 1/25/10]

Bobby Jones, a general foreman from Aiken, SC said the Recovery Act is "keeping [him] employed.” “I'm working on the DUO project (depleted uranium oxide), I was in D&D (deactivation and decommissioning) and I moved over here [to DOE’s Savannah River Site] in October. They needed someone to run the night shift so I came over. It's still stimulus funded and it's keeping me employed.” [, 1/25/10]

Wellington Hall a traffic engineer from Providence, RI said “none of this would be possible without the stimulus and I’m very grateful for that.” “I just got assigned as a project manager of a highway safety improvement project -- the goal is to identify intersections with high crash rates and work with consultants to mitigate accidents and make them safer. It feels good to know that these are some of the roads I drive on and that my coworkers and friends drive on. It feels good to know I'm making an impact. Right now I'm working on other things too, like using renewable energy to save on electrical costs. There are always things to keep me busy. This job has definitely helped me. I bought a house in august with my fiancé, got engaged in November and graduated last week. None of this would be possible without the stimulus and I'm very grateful for that. We're planning on getting married sometime in 2011.” [, 1/25/10]

Officer Patrick Dunn of Englewood, CO said that “If it wasn’t for the stimulus I probably wouldn’t have been hired.” “If it wasn’t for the stimulus, I probably wouldn’t have been hired. We had one income. My wife has been supporting the whole income. We have three kids. I have a 6, 5 1/2-year-old daughter and 20-month-old twins. There was a lot of pressure put on her.” [CNN, 1/25/10]

Officer Eddie Blackwell of Englewood, CO says the Recovery Act “gave [him] a golden opportunity to become a police officer.” “The stimulus package opened the opportunity, gave me a golden opportunity to become a police officer. I jumped on it.” [CNN, 1/25/10]

Chief Tom Vandermee of Englewood, CO believes the Recovery Act “has been extremely rewarding for [his] community.” “Our slice of this stimulus package, I can tell you, has been extremely rewarding for this community.” [CNN, 1/25/10]

Troy Cooper, an electrician from Coatesville, PA says the Recovery Act is “definitely going to help” him re-hire workers he was forced to lay off last year. “What we're doing has some of the incentive money built into it, so I say, yeah it's definitely going to help. Hopefully within the next month or so I'll be able to start bringing people back on from layoff.” [CNN, 1/25/10]

Richard Bennett an Iraq War veteran and the President Fidelias Design and Construction from Coatesville, PA says the opportunity he now has because of the Recovery Act “feels amazing, almost surreal.” “Now I'm president of a multimillion dollar construction company. It feels amazing, almost surreal.” [CNN, 1/25/10]

Patricia Dunn, a nurse practitioner from Mount Kisco, NY says the Recovery Act “made it possible for [her] to have this job.” “I had wanted to work for this organization six months prior to being offered my current position. They had a part-time opening but I needed full-time. When the [stimulus] funding came through, they offered me a position. Without a doubt, the funding made it possible for me to have this job. We've also, through stimulus, been able to hire more employees and that's great. The organization has hired several new physicians who started a few months ago.” [, 1/25/10]

Valatisha Jacinto, a school teacher from Waco, TX, “never thought anything that good would ever happen to her” before she was able to buy a house with an $8,000 Recovery Act tax credit through the first-time homebuyers program. "Thanks to the $8,000 tax credit for first-time homebuyers, in March, Valatisha bought a three-bedroom, two-bath home for $105,000. She took out a 4.9% FHA-insured 30-year loan, putting her monthly expenses, including property taxes and insurance, at just $830. She says, 'I never thought anything that good would happen to me.'" [, 1/25/10]

Rob Logan from Ypsilanti, MI “wouldn’t have been able to afford [his] house” without the Recovery Act.

Rob bought his Ypsilanti, Mich., house for $71,000 in October because of the $8,000 tax credit for first-time homebuyers. "I wouldn't have been able to afford my house without it. It was one of the main reasons I started looking." [, 1/25/10]

Chris Saliture from St. Paul, MN says the Recovery Act is “what got [him] started” looking for a house. "For Chris, the $8,000 tax credit for first-time homebuyers credit was vital. 'That's what got me started. I knew the incentive program was going on. I may still have looked, but this had an impact on what I could afford." [, 1/25/10]

Liz Oxhorn is Recovery Act Communications Director