Our latest graduates are the Cleveland family. Mark and Karen came into the program in August of 2016 with their three year old son Mason. The family entered Home Again from a family shelter having voluntarily moved-out of their one-bedroom apartment due to lack of funds. Not wanting to receive a second eviction, they loaded up their car with some of their belongings and drove to a local shelter. Mark and Karen always wanted to give their son a better childhood and more opportunities than they had been given. But it didn’t seem possible. After entering the shelter, Mark and Karen had to face another tough reality when they learned that Mason has a learning disorder. Of course no parents wants to accept that their child needs special care, but they exhaled and took on the daunting task of finding resources to help Mason.
The Cleveland’s were referred to Home Again by one of our community partners who provides low income families with positive parenting techniques and access to customized support and resources. Karen entered Home Again working 40 hours per week with an hourly wage of $10. Mark, had been unemployed for almost a year. With a felony background Mark was somewhat uncertain of the possibility of obtaining gainful employment. Mark had lost his self-confidence in being able to help his family get back on their feet financially, and decided that he would take on the role of as Mason’s caregiver.
Three months later, Karen secured a better job within her chosen profession, earning $15 an hour; Mark secured fulltime employment earning almost $10 an hour with a strong possibility of a salary promotion after 90-days. He gained his self- confidence back and noticeably walks taller. Mason is progressing well and is in a specialized childcare facility to better accommodate his needs. Mark and Karen have a good understanding of Mason’s learning disability now and are getting the right help for Mason to succeed in life. To date, their household income is $43,060; their credit scores have increased by 32 and 19 points; their combined unsecured debt decreased by almost $2,000; and their savings increased by $1,000. Mark and Karen received empowerment coaching, one-on-one financial coaching and education, employment services, and participated in financial clinics – all facilitated through HCC. Mark and Karen just celebrated their third wedding anniversary.