Family Promise Metrowest has supported more than 175 families and over 550 individuals since we opened our doors in 2008. The following stories inspire us all as they represent the strength of character and sheer determination of our families to create a brighter future.
In December 2013, Yusuf, Jane, and their daughter arrived at our shelter and from the beginning there was no doubt that with our support and resources, this family would thrive.
Yusuf had a college education and excellent work experience, yet was only working a part-time retail job when they entered the program. Jane was unemployed, and trying to decide what career direction to follow. Beginning with Yusuf, volunteer assistance was offered with writing a resume and applying for positions, which ultimately led to a full-time position at a home care agency. Jane decided to begin with education and enrolled in a Certified Nursing Assistant program, which allowed her to secure a job in the nursing field.
By September 2014, Yusuf and Jane had both obtained full-time employment, secured subsidized daycare for their daughter, and reached their savings target. Having met the goals they established when they entered our program, they found an apartment in the metrowest area and moved into our transitional living program. Continuing to move toward long-term goals, Jane obtained her driver’s license and enrolled in classes at a local college. Yusuf secured an excellent job as a credentialing specialist for a large corporation while also working as a personal care assistant on nights and weekends. With their increased income, they moved again, this time into a beautiful townhouse where they currently reside.
Yusuf and Jane’s accomplishments are a result of sheer determination, and represent what can happen when families are motivated to make real change in their lives. Yusuf is now a Director on the FPM Board and a member of our Family Advisory Committee, where he plays an important role in the future success of our organization and the families we serve.
A few short months after Jackie and her family entered shelter in 2014, unexpected life events resulted in Jackie facing the future as a single parent of three children. Her strength of character and resilience took over and rather than feeling defeated, she set goals to move her family forward.
Since she was only working part time at a local school where one of her children attended, her new goal was to substantially increase her earnings in order to attain self-sufficiency. She signed up for a class in computer skills, which Family Promise paid for, in addition to babysitting and transportation related to the course. After completing the class, she began applying for jobs as an Administrative Assistant, with interviewing and resume support from Family Promise volunteers.
Early in the spring of 2015, Jackie secured a new position that offered a substantial increase in her income. After a few more months, she reached her savings goal and moved into an apartment with her three children. Supported by our Transitional Living program, Jackie and her family continued to thrive. In 2016, she obtained a new position with excellent benefits working as an administrative assistant in a local hospital. That summer, her eldest daughter also earned a part-time job helping run a summer camp for formerly homeless children—a powerful testimony to how far this family had come.
Jackie’s perseverance inspires her children and all who know her. Jackie is now a member of our Family Advisory Committee, where she provides insight for future program development that will impact others.
When William, Yari, and their two daughters entered shelter the summer of 2015, they were clearly committed to creating a new future for their family. Although William was working full time, Yari was unable to work due to a lack of childcare for their younger daughter, preventing them from creating the family income they needed to afford rent in the metrowest area.
They began with the goals of accessing full-time daycare, finding employment for Yari, improving their budgeting skills, and securing reliable transportation. William continued to work at his current job, saving as much money as possible, while Yari began her job and daycare searches. Our Steps to Success program supported Yari in writing a resume, applying to jobs, and preparing for interviews, while our case manager assisted with school enrollment and daycare placement for the girls.
Yari ultimately secured a job as a prep chef in a local restaurant, making her younger daughter eligible for subsidized daycare. Their older daughter also started school full-time. During this time, William also realized he could make more money in other types of employment so he began applying and interviewing for new positions. Through an FPM network connection, he was ultimately offered a new job, significantly increasing his income and placing him in an industry with good growth potential.
Despite their busy schedules, Yari began working with an ESL tutor and both William and Yari studied hard to earn their driver's licenses. Hearing the news, a member of the Family Promise network generously donated a vehicle to the family, which they were able to register and insure thanks to their hard work saving while in shelter.
Although William and Yari achieved their goals in shelter early in 2016, they struggled to find an affordable apartment in the area. Thankfully, after several weeks of searching, a donor in our network offered to subsidize their rent while a local landlord agreed to have FPM as a guarantor on their lease. With these supports in place, a two-bedroom apartment was secured and the family moved into the Transitional Living Program, giving them time to continue working toward reaching a higher family income. And sure enough, after a few more months at his job, William was given a significant raise—a well-deserved acknowledgment of his hard work and value to his new company.
William and Yari graduated from the program in May 2017 and assumed the full rent payments at that time. Their hard work and commitment to their family’s future led to their success and with their improved incomes, they are well on their way to long -term sustainability.
Jennifer came into shelter in 2015 and although she had several challenges to overcome, she remained positive and focused on what she needed to do to create a secure future for her family.
Jenn began by getting a job at a local restaurant and, with diligent budgeting, she began to save. Meanwhile, she enrolled her son in a kindergarten program where the school district could offer extensive resources to address his special needs. Her son’s new teachers embraced this young boy, and when they learned he was having some challenging behaviors in shelter, they set up a schedule to volunteer daily at the day center. As a result of their intervention, his behaviors began to improve and Jenn learned some new skills and techniques to support him at home.
With a long-term career goal of working with children, Jenn moved to a new position as a teacher’s assistant in a local preschool. At the same time, Jennifer also studied and obtained her driver’s license so that she could create reliable transportation for her family. After reaching out to the FPM network, a generous donor gave Jen a car and in the fall of 2016, Jennifer and her son moved into their own apartment where they remain today.
Julius continues to receive in-home support services to build his skills for the future and Jenn continues to be a successful example of a single mother who, with determination and support, changed her future.
Tiffany and Eric arrived in shelter in 2016 with their three young children and a commitment to a brighter future. They quickly established a plan to move forward, beginning with the goals of full-time employment, reliable child care, and saving.
With skills and extensive experience as a chef, Eric began working with our Steps to Success coordinator to hone his resume and apply for employment. Within a few short weeks, he secured a full-time job through our business network as a cook at a local hotel restaurant where he has thrived, receiving accolades for some of his personal recipes, and a raise within the first few months of his employment.
For Tiffany to work, she needed to secure child care for the children. Their oldest child entered kindergarten and with FPM’s assistance, secured after-school care. For the younger children, FPM initially subsidized in-home child care until they secured vouchers for full-day daycare placements. With daycare in place, Tiffany completed training as a certified nursing assistant and began working for a local nursing home.
To address transportation, Eric studied and obtained his driver’s license while a local dealership, Wellesley Toyota, generously donated a car. With transportation, savings, and jobs all secured, the family moved into an apartment in the spring of 2017 and are presently being supported in our Transitional Living program. After the move, Tiffany started a better-paying job and on the weekends, she can be seen at the local farmer’s market selling her beautiful crafts.
We look forward to seeing what the future brings for this hard-working and motivated family who inspires us all.
In mid-2017, Melissa and her four children entered shelter after a flood from a leaky pipe left them homeless. Melissa was a very hard-working single mother, juggling two jobs, and making ends meet. In addition, she had a Section 8 voucher to subsidize their rent, but they needed to find a new three-bedroom apartment before the voucher was set to expire.
Landlords are not required to accept Section 8 and while Melissa had excellent references, it was a challenge to find a landlord willing to accept the voucher. With the support of the Transitional Living case manager, she embarked on an aggressive search for an apartment as soon as she entered shelter. Melissa also committed to working hard on her saving and budgeting while in shelter, in order to create more stability once her family found a new home.
After a couple months, Melissa found a beautiful apartment in a nearby town with a willing landlord. With help from FPM for the first month’s rent and a letter of reference, she and her children moved in to their new home in April.
The Section 8 voucher program was essential for this single mother to secure a safe, affordable three-bedroom home in the Metrowest community. Now back in housing, she continues to work her two jobs and participate in our transitional living program, where we assist her in budgeting for the future, setting educational goals for herself, and accessing enrichment programming for her teens.
Melissa also recently joined the FPM staff as our newest van driver for families in shelter and as a member of the Family Advisory Committee. Her time as a van driver and volunteer are already making a difference in the lives of the families we serve.
Mona and her sons arrived in shelter in 2016 after moving here from Florida. Despite Mona’s optimistic and hard-working nature, she was unable to find a job, and the family found themselves homeless.
Upon entering shelter, Mona began with a goal of finding employment. Although she quickly secured part-time employment at a local restaurant, after a couple months, she secured a full-time certified nursing assistant position with one of our network employers. For the boys, it was still summer vacation, so FPM assisted Mona in finding camps and through the generosity of the Natick Soccer program, the boys were offered scholarships to join local teams. In the fall, they both entered school where they have thrived.
With employment in place, Mona established a budget with her case manager and reached her goal for savings within a few months. While she began looking for apartments, Family Promise had also begun meeting with Habitat for Humanity to learn more about their program and possible opportunities for our families to apply. With employment and savings in place, Mona was eligible and entered the lottery.
In December 2016, Habitat held the lottery for a new home being built in a nearby town, and while staff tried to prepare Mona for the slim likelihood of winning, her strong faith led her to believe otherwise. We are thrilled to say Mona did win and she and the boys will be moving into their new home in the fall of 2017.
For many families, moving from shelter to home ownership would be daunting but Mona has clearly shown her ability to be organized and focused on what is ahead. Every week she spends a minimum of one day off working at her house, while also taking the time to complete home ownership courses and continuing to save. Even the boys have pitched in with good grades and leadership classes to be used toward the tally for the family’s sweat equity hours.
In the fall, we look forward to celebrating with this family when they enter a beautiful new home, proving that with hard work and determination, dreams really do come true.