Learning to listen through a stethoscope so that she could get a health-care job to lift her family out of homelessness reminded “Christine” about something she’d lost months before and couldn’t afford to replace: her hearing aids.
Thanks to a grant that allows Family Renew Community to assist clients with medical and dental needs, Christine received new hearing aids in February. She mastered the skills required to earn a certified nursing assistant license and went to work for a hospital, where her husband, “John,” works as a security guard. The couple and three of their children — a 9-year-old son and 8- and 12-year-old daughters — have become financially stable and are ready to move out of their apartment at Family Renew’s Holly Hill Residential Campus for families experiencing homelessness. A son who just turned 18 has already left for college.
“She had been without her hearing aids for a year. Being homeless and all, getting hearing aids was not a priority,” says Anita Dudley, Family Renew’s program manager in Holly Hill. Anita says Christine has been profoundly hard-of-hearing since birth.
The family came to Family Renew in late June of 2021. The landlord from whom they had been renting a house in Palm Coast without a lease sold the home to someone who wanted to live there. With little savings for upfront moving costs and few affordable rental properties available, the family stayed in motels for four to five months.
Their time at Family Renew, with no rent or utility bills to pay, allowed them to save money for a move to permanent housing. In the meantime, John was promoted at work and Christine started to work in her new field, boosting their income. Anita worked with them on budgeting skills and connected them with family counseling.
Just as they were about to move into an apartment of their own, they encountered one last obstacle on the path out of homelessness. Their prospective place was flooded by Tropical Storm Ian. They are awaiting a refund of their deposits and eager to go apartment hunting again.