Ioan and Zamfira's Story

Ioan and Zamfira Zamifira and Ioan, (John) were born in small towns near Transylvania, Romania. Zam, as she likes to be called, was born in Ludus and Ioan was born in Aiud.

Zam’s father was a church pastor and Zam and Ioan met at a church function when they were teens. They married in 1972.

As a young man, Ioan attended a professional program for three years. At the time only communists were allowed to attend universities and attain higher jobs. Because Ioan was Christian, the only education options available to him were vocational schools for electrical or mechanical work or as a lab technician. This was after the professional program he had attended for three years after middle school. As Romania was communist occupied, only communists were allowed to go to universities and attain higher level jobs. As a Christian, Ioan was allowed only three choices to attend for school; electrical, mechanical or lab technicians.

Ioan went on to work for 20 years in a lab where he tested materials, such as concrete, to make sure they were strong enough for designated uses, such as bridges.

Zam worked in a bookstore, but was later politely told they didn’t need her any longer because she admitted that she was a Christian.

Zam and Ioan wanted a better future for their son and two daughters; one daughter wanted to be a lawyer and the other daughter wanted to become a doctor but this would not be possible or allowed if they stayed in Romania. The family moved to the U.S. and settled in Texas where both Ioan and Zam found jobs in a print shop. Later Ioan worked as an optical technician in the medical field.

Ioan later became ill, had surgery and was unable to work. Around the same time, businesses slowed at the office where Zam worked and she was no longer needed.

Their oldest daughter decided to go to medical school in Portland. Their second daughter, an attorney, also lived in Portland, so Ioan and Zam moved there. They lived with their second daughter for seven years.

Ioan and Zam wanted their own place to live. There were six people living in their daughter’s two-bedroom house. Their daughter researched various living arrangements on the Internet and found Providence Supportive Housing.

They drove by and thought it looked like a nice place to live. They set up an appointment with the director and felt very welcomed when they walked in.

“I feel like this is my home” says Zam. “It’s quiet, the people are very nice and caring. It is a safe place to live! When the recent construction began, it was all for our benefit! We are so blessed!

Living at Providence Supportive Housing has improved our lives by giving us our own lives back again! We can live on our schedule, we can be more independent, and we can afford the rent and not worry about how we will live from day to day. We are living a less stressful life and our daughters and their children are able to have their privacy back too.

We are now closer to our church and feel so much more independent!

The Providence Supportive Housing community is friendly, we feel like we belong. Everyone helps one another. The staff cares about us. They want to make our lives easy. They truly serve the residents! They want to make our life better by how they take care of the building, how they plan activities for us. We are truly blessed!”