Family Connections Success Stories
Through PRC’s Family Connections program, a number of struggling DuPage families receive personalized coaching and support from a PRC social worker and longer-term (3-12 months) financial assistance. This support is offered in addition to the full range of PRC’s regular services and programs. The aim of Family Connections is to assist families experiencing extraordinary challenges to regain stability and establish a path to self-sufficiency.
PRC served 20 such families in 2011, with 10 families successfully completing the program. At the start of 2012 we are welcoming 5 new families into the program, and hope to welcome more throughout 2012.
2011 Success Stories
The names of all clients have been changed to respect their privacy.
A Struggling Vet Avoids Homelessness
“Bob” came to People’s Resource Center seeking help. He had been unemployed for several months and had fallen behind in rent. He could no longer afford his apartment and was at risk of becoming homeless. Bob was enrolled in Family Connections and began working with a PRC social worker. Together, they set a goal of finding housing the Bob could afford. In talking about his background, Bob shared that he was a veteran. But he hadn’t realized that his veteran status meant he was eligible for housing assistance. Bob’s social worker helped him contact the Veteran’s Administration and coached him on how to apply to the VA for assistance. Within a month, Bob was receiving veteran’s benefits to assist him with rent payments. The support allowed him to move to a more affordable apartment—one that is also closer to some of Bob’s family. Since moving, he’s been able to reconnect with family which has strengthened his social support network.
A New Start for a Young Family
The birth of a new baby should be a joy, but when “Miranda” was laid off from her job, the cost of diapers and formula became overwhelming. Through Family Connections, Miranda and her husband worked with a PRC case worker to develop a plan for obtaining steady employment, stable affordable housing and sufficient income to care for their two small children. PRC provided financial assistance to pay for necessities such as diapers, formula and other essentials. Additionally, PRC staff assisted the family with identifying and accessing more affordable housing. The family achieved their goals, transitioned out of Family Connections and are able to take care of their family and meet their needs.
Finding a Refuge in PRC
“Joseph” was just a child when he first had to flee his home in Burundi because of civil strife and genocidal violence. He spent most of his life in refugee camps, and eventually came to the U.S. as a refugee. Here he met and married a Burundian woman, and they have two children. Joseph works hard to provide for his family, but he has been faced with layoffs on more than one occasion over the years and those periods of unemployment have been extremely difficult.
People’s Resource Center has been a lifeline for this family. PRC programs have helped both Joseph and his wife to improve job skills including English language ability, computers, and job search skills. PRC staff and volunteers provided encouragement through difficult times. Financial assistance through the Family Connections program helped the family survive periods of unemployment and afford the transportation costs of getting to job interviews and, eventually, their workplaces. Today, both Joseph and his wife have found work. They continue to utilize PRC’s food pantry and literacy programs, and with two incomes they are able to make ends meet.
A Safe Haven and a Fresh Start
“Angela” was coping with an abusive spouse and a crumbling marriage. The pressures of unemployment had taken their toll. Concerned for the safety and well-being of her five young children, Angela brought the kids to live with relatives in DuPage County. She was seeking a fresh start. She first came to PRC to use the food pantry and learned about PRC’s other services as well. Clothing was a constant need for five growing children and she became a regular at the clothes closet. She signed up for job assistance and met regularly with her job coach. Shortly after being enrolled in Family Connections, she was accepted into a transitional housing program which allowed her and her children to move into a single family home close to her relatives and the children’s schools. Soon, Angela found a part-time job and was able to transition out of the Family Connections program.
Angela continues to visit PRC’s food pantry and clothes closet from time to time and still meets regularly with her PRC job coach. Angela hopes to find full-time employment in the field of Human Resources, and in spite of a challenging job market she has been successful in getting interviews. Angela is hopeful that a successful career is just around the corner.
Family Connections is supported in large part by donor families who make a monthly commitment to support the program.
If you’d like to become a monthly donor to People’s Resource Center, click here to set up monthly credit card donations, processed securely by Acceptiva. If you wish, you may indicate Family Connections as a program designation for your gift