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Restaurant Server

Having a steady job as a server at an upscale casual restaurant helped “Suzanne” get through a tough time last summer, when she got herself and her 3-month-old daughter out of a dangerous home environment.

The job did not prevent her from becoming homeless when she left her abusive partner. The pay and tips were good, but affordable housing is scarce and she had little savings for deposits and other upfront costs. Her friends at the restaurant made sure Suzanne and her baby always had someplace to sleep, and helped her find Family Renew Community’s Daytona Beach Residential Campus for single mothers experiencing homelessness.

With no rent or utilities to pay, the job allowed Suzanne to pay off debts and build enough savings to begin looking for place. That plan is on hold, now that social distancing requirements related to the COVID-19 pandemic have shut down the restaurant’s dining room. All of the servers were let go, and will have to reapply for their jobs when, or if, dine-in service resumes.

“We’re just going to sit tight,” says Laurie Archer-Dugo, Family Renew Community’s program manager in Daytona Beach and Suzanne’s case manager.

Suzanne is eager to move to the next chapter of her life with her now-1-year-old baby, and is looking for a new job so she can take that last step on the path out homelessness.