A homeless woman came to Mid-Cumberland Community Action Agency seeking help in November 2014. Having undergone emergency surgery, she had been out of work over a month and had lost her home and all of her belongings. Although she still had her car, she lived in fear of repossession. Her daughter, a middle school student, was failing and truant.
MCCAA Case Manager, Bobbie Greene, contacted community partners and churches for help, as well as the daughter’s school system. The community partner organization immediately went to work to help this homeless, single mother. The Parent Involvement Coordinator at the school intervened immediately to get the daughter back on track to academic success, helping her pass her courses for the semester. An apartment complex in the community partner organization had an opening, and MCCAA provided a rent deposit for the family. United Way and private donations covered the first month’s rent. Another community partner paid the electric deposit, while private donors contributed furniture, mattresses, and cleaning supplies. A local football team assisted with the move. Thankfully, a village was willing to take action to help one of their own who was struggling.
Although the woman’s car was eventually repossessed, Case Manager Greene helped her develop a budget to get it back. The lender agreed to an aggressive payment plan to help her get caught up on payments, and she picked up extra shifts at work to help make the payments on time. Her son and other volunteers took her to work while she was without transportation so she would not lose her job.
The daughter received Christmas gifts through a local charity known as Christmas Anonymous. MCCAA provided food and hygiene products from the food pantry to help during the holiday season. A partner organization also helped with food and clothes.
When the woman received her electric bill the following month, she was given the opportunity to apply for LIHEAP assistance but declined. “I don’t need it now,” she stated. By staying on her budget, she was able to pay all of her current bills and move forward from her sudden health and financial set-back. Her move from homelessness to self-sufficiency could not have happened without the help of MCCAA and many partners within her community. Together, this community provided a family the hand-up they needed to overcome homelessness and the effects of extended poverty.