For the past few years, Maria has had to work two jobs in order to make ends meet. After her husband Jorje died in a car accident four years ago, things fell apart. Maria had dropped out of college when she and Jorje found out they were expecting their first child. She hadn’t held a job outside the home for eleven years before her husband’s death. Jorje’s job in construction had always been enough to get them by, and her staying home with the kids meant they didn’t have to pay for childcare. All that changed when Jorje died.
Maria has worked two minimum wage jobs since her husband’s death, struggling to keep the family afloat. But then Maria’s older son got sick with meningitis last November. She had to miss work – and ended up missing rent payments – during his hospitalization and as he recovered at home. Maria borrowed money from her sister and maxed out her credit cards, but it wasn’t enough.
The family was evicted from their apartment in February after missing one too many rent payments. Maria’s credit score took a serious hit. She and two children spent almost two months in a shelter before landing at Save the Family.
Maria and her family didn’t end up homeless because she wasn’t working hard enough. Maria was working an average of 70 hours each week to support her family. The problem was she was working two minimum wage jobs – working hard but not making enough to cover the rent, child care, groceries, and the unexpected medical expenses that came along with her son’s serious illness. They didn’t have a safety net.
Since Maria and her children came to Save the Family, things have gotten better. Maria’s children are enrolled in our after-school programs. Maria has been taking classes on budgeting at Save the Family, and she’s started a savings account that contains a full month’s rent payment on reserve. She is paying off her credit cards with the highest interest rates first. Maria has earned a professional certification, and she’s now making enough to quit one of her jobs and still put enough away each month to build her savings. Truly a victory for one of our Save the Family families!
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