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Paychecks have come to a standstill for Charlie, a security guard whose latest long-term assignment was at a local school that’s been shut down to help contain the spread of COVID-19. The bills have not. And that has stymied the progress he and his wife, Cindy, have made toward lifting their family out of homelessness.

“They are not able to save any money. He’s not getting paid for about a good month. They still have to pay their car note, their car insurance,” says Anita Dudley, program manager for Family Renew Community’s Holly Residential Campus for families experiencing homelessness. “Now they’re starting to live off the money they’ve already saved.”

Cindy’s vocational rehabilitation, designed to help her cope with a disability and re-enter the workforce after being a stay-at-home mom to their now-3-year-old daughter, also is on hold. The state office at which that service is provided has shut down, too.

The family became homeless after a living arrangement with family suddenly went sour. Charlie’s wages as a security guard allowed them to pay their way while sharing a house with relatives. But they had not expected to be asked to leave and had no savings to cover deposits and other upfront costs of their own place.

Though their move to permanent housing may be delayed, the couple remains upbeat. Charlie is helping with maintenance around the Holly Hill campus, and both he and Cindy enjoy have more time to spend with their little girl on the awesome playground.

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