Carla*, mother of two, hasn’t always had the easiest life. At an early age, Carla was figuring things out on her own. Although she had a loving grandmother that raised her and her siblings, she lacked guidance when it came to planning for her future. With her parents out of the picture, Carla also took it upon herself to look out for her siblings trying hard to lessen the burden for grandmother. Because of this, Carla’s family has always been the most important thing in her life.
After graduating high school, she married her husband and had two children of her own. Although she and her family faced financial hardships and struggles, Carla also made the decision to take full custody of her nephew after experiencing challenges of his own. By following her grandmother’s lead, she knew how important it was for her nephew to grow up in a loving and supportive home.
With Carla unable to find work, the family relied on one income to help them get by. Living paycheck to paycheck and without a savings account, the family took out credit cards in order to pay for unforeseen expenses and emergencies. Sinking further and further into debt and having three children to support, Carla was desperate to find any kind of relief.
After moving into an affordable housing unit, Carla was introduced to LifeSTEPS and the programs we offer to struggling individuals who were in the same situation as her. She also learned about the Family Self-Sufficiency Program (FSS), which she immediately applied for. Nervous and not knowing what to expect, Carla was introduced to her Case Manager who went over the different classes and resources available to her.
For the first time in her life, Carla felt empowered. With financial education courses being offered, as well as one-on-one counseling, Carla was able to learn new ways to save money and budget. Through resume building and job training, Carla was also able to find full-time employment, helping her reduce her debt and finally start a savings account. With the services and resources provided by the FSS Program, Carla has finally been able to do something she never thought would be possible –earn her degree.
With life finally on the right track, Carla and her family are now on the path to reaching stability and self-sufficiency. “Always stay positive and don’t be scared to ask for help. Thank you, LifeSTEPS,” Carla says.
*name has been changed