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A highlight of Family Promise’s annual gala on Oct. 22 was the speech by one of our clients. Here’s an excerpt of what Sarah had to say about her experience in our program:
“Around this time year last year my family and I had fallen on hard times. I had gotten sick and missed a lot of work. I became backed up with bills, including my rent. I looked high and low for rental assistance. I was desperate. I kept calling 211 for assistance, and finally spoke to someone who directed me to the Board of Social Service for help.

But when I reached out to the board, it was pulling teeth — and very degrading. The woman with whom I spoke was nasty. She spoke down to me as if I was lying about the situation I was facing, and just kept asking me “Why?’’

What was even more baffling was that if had I been unemployed or a victim of domestic violence they would not have given me any trouble. It’s crazy how a working family does not qualify for any help, just because you work.

Then, as I continued to do research, I ran across an organization called Family Promise. I thought to myself, “This is too good to be true — a place that helps working families.’’ I will admit my experience with Family Promise has been anything but easy. But it’s also been strengthening and enjoyable. I have had so much support from everyone who works for Family Promise, not only employees but also from the volunteers who helped house me and my family at their congregations.

One of the things I loved most about Family Promise is the fact that they focused on helping you create an Action Plan to help you get back on your feet. I needed to go back to school, but could not do that until I got the encouragement I needed. When I lost my apartment, I lost my confidence, too. I felt like a horrible parent, displacing my boys.

Once I became a client, Family Promise helped me figure out what to do to get our lives on track. They helped me go back to school. They paid for my GED classes. I haven’t taken the test yet, but I guarantee that I’m going to pass it!

Now my children and I are living in one of Family Promise’s transitional apartments. This gives me time to work on my Action Plan, which will lead to a life of self-sufficiency. I want to go to college to get my associate’s degree so I support my family.

I don’t know what I would have done without Family Promise. It gave me hope. Now I know that I have the skills and confidence I need. My boys and I will never be homeless again.”