“Marie” was a housewife for 20 years, and a stay-at-home mom for the last 16 of them. Her husband worked and handled all the finances, while she looked after their son, who has autism.
When the marriage fell apart, she didn’t know how to make a new household for herself and son “Marcus.” And, even if she had known how, she didn’t know where she would get the resources to pay for it. Then she found Anita Dudley, program manager for Family Renew Community’s Holly Hill Residential Campus for families with children experiencing homelessness.
“She was hurt,” Anita says. “She didn’t know what direction to go or what was happening. Her husband did everything for so many years.”
Marie and her 16-year-old son moved into a one-bedroom cottage apartment at the Holly Hill campus on May 17. That day, Anita helped Marie apply for disability benefits for Marcus, and temporary cash assistance. Anita referred Marie for counseling to cope with her emotional distress and build her confidence to enter the workforce. Within two months, Marie found a part-time job. She applied and was selected for MyTechHire, a Daytona State College grant-funded program through which she is earning certifications for a career in information technology or manufacturing. Marcus attended a special summer program, then his school year at a local public high school got off to a great start.
In case management sessions with Anita, Marie set weekly objectives. “They were huge goals for her, that other people might take for granted,” Anita says.
Marie is awaiting a divorce court’s determination on how much her soon-to-be ex-husband will be required to contribute toward her and Marcus’ financial well-being. But their new life is well underway. They moved the first week of November into an apartment she loves, and can afford because of public housing’s sliding scale.
“She is so excited. She wants me to come over there and look it,” Anita says.
Please help us write more happy endings like this for families experiencing homelessness with a year-end donation to Family Renew Community.