Do you know what “services” stand for in Community Action Services and Food Bank?
Do you know that you don’t have to be in a low-income family to use our services?
Many people are not aware of all the programs we offer to our community. Some of them can be for low-income families, but our services can be used by all members of the community. Our programs and services are designed to continue building self-reliance as people’s income and situation change over time.
To illustrate how someone could use all of the offered services, we created a hypothetical case study to show how a family could move out of poverty using these programs. While this is a fictional family, the situations are based on real client experiences.
Cindy grew up in poverty but secured a stable job in a bakery after finishing high school. Her income was sufficient, but when she met and married Mike, they were able to live comfortably on two incomes. When they had their two kids, Cindy quit her job to stay home, and Mike was able to earn a promotion and support the whole family. Mike had abusive tendencies that increased under the stress of his job, and by the time both kids reached elementary school, Cindy decided to leave to protect her children. Cindy got a hold of her sister, Kate who lived in Provo, and asked if she could move in with her. Cindy planned to stay with Kate until she could find a job and an apartment in Provo.
Cindy got a job at a local bakery in Provo and stayed with Kate. She was able to find an apartment when she first moved to Provo and could afford the monthly payments, but did not have enough to pay for the security deposit.
Her sister’s one bedroom apartment was not big enough to be a long-term option, and after a few weeks, Kate’s landlord demanded that Cindy’s family move out. Cindy went to Community Action Services and Food Bank. She brought her ID and proof of her income of $27,000 a year. Once she checked in, she met with a case manager who assessed her situation and needs. Through the case manager, Cindy got emergency assistance to stay in a motel for a week and picked out some groceries from the food bank to take with her.
Throughout the month, she met with the case manager who helped her apply for rental assistance. Since Cindy already found an affordable apartment, Community Action was able to use a grant to pay Cindy’s security deposit. Cindy also mentioned to the case manager that she wished she had space at her new apartment for a garden like she had in her old home. Her case manager suggested checking out the community gardens so she could have a garden plot again.
Cindy’s case manager also referred her to the Financial Learning Center to help her learn how to improve her budget. The financial counselor helped her figure out what to budget and how to save money. He told Cindy that she would be able to save more and meet her family’s needs if she was able to increase her income, but Cindy was already working as much as she could while still caring for her children. The counselor referred Cindy to the Circles Initiative which could give her more support and resources.
She met with a Circles coach to see if she qualified. Cindy met all the requirements and was enrolled in the 12-week course to learn more about the program and herself. After the 12 weeks, she was paired with her allies and started meeting with them regularly to discuss her goals and aspirations. Cindy told the Circles coach that she would love to have her own bakery and the Circles coach referred her to the Potluck: Culinary Cultivation Center, which gave her an affordable space to make her baked goods. One of the allies worked with Cindy to improve some of her recipes, met with other bakery owners, and made a business plan. Cindy started selling her baked goods at the farmer’s market and established a small following.
After 18 months with Circles, Cindy left her job at the local bakery and started her own bakery, Bakeology. With the money she saved, she was able to initiate her divorce from Mike, keep custody of the kids, and start receiving child support. Cindy found a grant to help her get into a condo, and enrolled in the homebuyer education classes at Community Action to cover her education requirements for the funding. Cindy continues to work hard and teach her kids how to be self-reliant.
Though most families don’t use all our services, this is how a lot of these individuals get started. Cindy was in a bad situation and didn’t have enough support or resources from friends or family to help. Community Action was able to give her that support she needed until she could be self-reliant. This is the ending we hope for all our clients. If you know someone who could benefit from one or more of our services, refer them to our website or location to learn more.
- Posted by Community Action
- On August 30, 2017
- 0 Comments