After leaving an abusive situation, Sarah ran out of funds before she could find a job and settle down. This brought her to the steps of Catholic Charities. Sarah first utilized the Marian House for a daily meal, but quickly became involved in the Hanifen Center services which helped her work towards self-sustainability.
When Sarah heard that computer skills classes were offered, she jumped at the opportunity. She met Life Skills Instructor, Sherry, who worked with Sarah to set goals and learn life skills. Sarah had three ambitions. She wanted to find a job, get an apartment, and buy a car. Within six months, she had developed the skills and self-confidence she needed to pursue a job. Her hard work paid off, and she was offered a position at the Salvation Army Warming Shelter, working the overnight shift.
When she is not working, Sarah regularly comes to the Life Skills Center, where she continues to take Financial Literacy classes and work on employment skills. She recently attended a job fair and is confident she will be hired for a full-time job once the Warming Shelter closes in April.
Her next goal was to find an affordable apartment. Since she was living in the R. J. Montgomery Center shelter, Sarah was able to save more than 80% of each paycheck. On February 1st, Sarah held the keys to an apartment. Catholic Charities Community Outreach moved her in, providing furniture, food, bedding, and household goods. As a safety net, she has saved enough money to support herself for three months.
Sarah wants to give back to the organizations that helped in her time of need. She has become a regular volunteer, working as a Navigator in the Family Day Center, and helping with the Clothing Closet, Help Desk, or where she is needed based on the demands of the day. She says, “Catholic Charities helped me so much. We had a Catholic Charities where I was originally from, but the services they provide here are so unique and supportive.”
Her third goal is to save enough to purchase a used car. She is working with Sherry to develop a budget which includes the car payment, cost of insurance, and gas. “I would love a car to help me get around,” she says. “The closest grocery store is 15 blocks away. I don’t mind walking or riding the bike Catholic Charities gave me, but it would be nice to have a car when the weather is bad.”
Sherry is confident in Sarah’s future: “I know Sarah will be fine. She has the skills and drive to be successful. We are looking forward to saying goodbye because we know Sarah will not need us anymore.”