"Everyone tells you to grow up and become one thing, but you don’t have to become one thing."

Age: 39
I’m from: Waterbury, Conn.
Now I live in: Milwaukie
Moved here in: 1993
Job: Mental Health Consultant in Multnomah County’s Mental Health Call Center
With the county since: 1999
What I miss about Connecticut: Humidity. I actually love it.

How did you get to Oregon? I kind of made my way west. There was this little, small school in Ohio, the College of Wooster. They had internship programs set up throughout the whole country. I studied urban studies. I was like, “I’ve never been to Portland. I want to go and see the cowboys and stuff." I came here the Summer of 1993 and was like, “This is phenomenal!” It’s clean, it’s well-planned, it’s innovative, it’s beautiful when the sun shines. I fell in love. I went back and graduated. Then I moved out here. I didn’t know anyone. I didn’t have family out here and I still don’t. I’ve been here 18 years.

What do you do? I work on the crisis line with the Call Center. We answer calls from people having mental health crises.

You work at night. What’s that like? It’s a really nice schedule for my son. I have an 8-year-old and it allowed me to be with him during the day. I just sleep whenever I need to. When my body says get rest, I go get it.

What do you do during your time off? I love to do home remodeling. I’m like addicted. I just worked on my living room. It’s a good balance to work because when you do this, you give and you give and you don’t know when something’s going to help or not. But you just do it. Whereas, I paint and it looks good. Instant rewards.

Sarita enjoys not knowing who is on the other end of the phone, but being able to connect them to a resource.