Everything was starting to come together.
“Sophie” had been looking for a job for two months — ever since she came to Family Renew Community in DeLand with her four school-age children in late October to start building a new life that wouldn’t include homelessness. Her long-term sights were set on a career in early childhood education, the field for which she had begun studying online. For the time being, though, any place of employment to which she could get without a car would suffice, so she could begin saving for her move to permanent housing.
She didn’t want to stop her job search while the kids — ages 6 through 12 — were off school for Christmas break, so she enrolled them at daycare center within walking distance of her Family Renew apartment. When the family arrived for their first day, Sophie saw the sign: “Help Wanted.”
“They hired her,” recalls Kim Bandorf, Family Renew Community’s program manager in DeLand. “Since then, steadily she’s been putting money away.”
Sophie remained optimistic about her path as the COVID-19 situation began to unfold. When her children’s schools announced they would be closed for weeks, the daycare center allowed her to bring her kids along to work. Then the daycare center shut down, too.
“I can’t even go look for a job, because I have four kids at home,” Sophie says.
We don’t know how this story will end. But case manager Kim is confident Sophie, 35, and her children will make it out of homelessness with help from Family Renew Community. “She’s determined,” Kim says.