"Everything just went downhill,” Paul said, shaking his head. Paul and Tabitha never had it easy. He was working two jobs. She was working outside the home and taking care of her family. They were just barely making ends meet. Then their luck went from bad to worse. Paul lost his first job at a local school district. Then, shortly after, he lost his second job as a pantry cook at a neighborhood restaurant. In a flash, panic set in. Even though Tabitha was still working, her pay wasn’t enough to cover groceries for the family and diapers for the baby. Before long, they couldn’t pay their rent, and they were evicted.
Scrambling for a solution, Paul began living in his van, while Tabitha took the kids and stayed with her stepmother. This went on for almost three months. Every day, Paul got up at 4:00 a.m., picked Tabitha up and drove her to work, and watched the kids while he tried to find a job. It was a grueling routine that took its toll. One morning, Paul fell asleep at the wheel and crashed into another car. Luckily, no one was seriously hurt, but it was a red flag. They’d hit bottom.
That’s when they came to The Salvation Army. Thanks to your generous support, we were able to help this struggling family. First, we got them into the Harbor Light Complex, our shelter for families. There, they had a roof over their heads, hot meals, and clean clothes.
“I’m grateful for The Salvation Army,” Tabitha said. “They give food and shelter to people who really need it. That made all the difference to us. It helped keep my family together.”
With their immediate needs met, Paul and Tabitha were ready to begin working toward self-sufficiency. They were assigned a caseworker, and they meet once a week with her to follow a plan to get their lives back on track. It’s working. Before they came to The Salvation Army, they were worried for their future. Now they have renewed hope and confidence that they'll stay strong as a family.
“It’s the stability,” Paul said. “When you have kids, it’s important for them to have someplace they can call home. The Salvation Army has given us that, and I can see the difference it’s made for our kids. I know we’ll make it now.”
A married couple with three children was referred to the Salvation Army for Homeless Prevention Services through the Home Again Program. They had two children living at home - ages 17 and 18. Both of the children were being homeschooled. Their third child was 21 and in college.
The father lost his job in November 2010. He was in customer support with a local company making over $30 per hour. The family lived on unemployment and their savings. They had to pay large COBRA fees for medical insurance and pay tuition for their daughter who was away in college. The husband and wife were both desperately looking for work, but neither of them was able to find employment. They soon exhausted their savings and fell behind in their rent payments and other household bills. By September of 2011, they had a scheduled court date for eviction proceedings.
This family lacked the financial resources and support networks to pay their rent arrears. However, The Salvation Army was able to pay all of the arrears and keep the family housed.
The family is doing fine now because the father has been rehired by his previous company. He is currently making $34.36 per hour. They have been able to get caught up with their bills and continue to pay their daughter's tuition. The following was sent in a note from the family: "We would like to take a moment to thank you for your help during our family time of crisis. We appreciate the kindness and understanding we received. Our family really appreciates the Salvation Army's dedication to helping others in need."
A married couple with three small children was helped with the Salvation Army Homeless Prevention Services through the Home Again Program. They had fallen behind in their bill payments and received an eviction notice for non-payment of rent. The husband had been laid off from his job in the aircraft industry after his company lost and important contract. He was denied unemployment. The father was doing all he could to find another job. His wife was expecting and had been put on bed rest due to complications.
Their rent was $500 and their only income was $536 in temporary cash assistance from the Department of Job & Family Services. The Salvation Army assisted the couple with rent assistance and paid all of their rent arrears. They were also helped with utility assistance.
The husband was enrolled in a training program for a new job. While he trained, he was paid $107 per week. The Salvation Army was able to assist with additional rent assistance while the husband was in training. He was soon hired fulltime by the company that had trained him. The couple worked hard to get their bills caught up and to stay current with their rent payments.
When their fourth child was born, they had to pay $250 per month for special formula prescribed for his medical condition. The mother called the Salvation Army and stated that they had no money to purchase anything for Christmas for their children. The Salvation Army was able to assist the family with Christmas presents for their children. This family was very thankful for the assistance they received through The Salvation Army.