As a CIS Site Coordinator, one of the things I get to do is play an important role in filling gaps to provide wrap around services. At my school, one family was especially grateful for this support.
I first met this family when Mom came to the school, needing assistance with paying their water bill, and feeling as if she had exhausted all other resources. Since our school has the CIS program and she was directed to me. She shared with me that they were behind on their water bill because the main provider in the family, Dad, had lost his job due to a lack of transportation. They were so behind on this utility bill that their water was about to be shut off.
Making the situation more stressful on the family is that they had been forced to use the barter system in order to eat, exchanging the use of their clothes washer and dryer for food.
Unfortunately, that was not the end of their struggles. They had also fallen behind on rent. They had nowhere else to go and were experiencing all of the hardships and challenges that living in poverty brings.
Thankfully, I was able to help. I contacted the water company and got their bill up to date so that they could keep the water on. I worked with a local community partner to get a good bit of the back rent paid. I knew someone in the community who was in need of landscape workers and was able to connect Dad with a job that started the very next day. We purchased the family groceries so that they no longer had to use the barter system to eat. And, finally, we worked with the school to provide free after-school childcare so that the family did not have to worry about the kids being home alone, now that Dad had a job.
I am so thankful for everything you did! Thank you for being there and going above and beyond us!
Mom was so grateful for the help that the cried and hugged me. Now, her kids are coming to school and able to focus, thanks to the family no longer struggling with food insecurity and the threat of losing their utilities and/or home. I am so glad that I could help!