Thursday, October 10, 2013

Family Promise's "Pathway to Home: Breakfast was a success!

                    Family Promise's "Pathway to Home" Breakfast was a huge success! 
Read the testimonials that inspired the 300+ guests.

From Mary, a graduate of Family Promise and a current Board Member:

Hi my name is Mary Ruggiero. I have been married for 20 years. My husband and I ran into financial difficulties when he was looking for work [after being laid off] and I lost my job. We fell behind in rent and wound up losing our house. We had our daughter and grandson with us. With nowhere to really go, I began looking into shelters but was told basically the same thing from all of the places I called: “We only take people with addictions”, or “we can take you and your daughter and grandson but your husband would have to go to another place”. We were not looking to be split up after all the years we were together. We wound up having to split temporarily.  I found a job but Ron was still looking.  My income wasn’t enough to get back on our feet.  We found 2 family shelters where we could be together. The first place ran a credit report and said our credit wasn’t good enough for their program. The other place said my daughter was too old. We were frustrated.

In order to stay together as a family, we stayed with my grown son in the garage out back.  It wasn’t a place for our baby grandson.  We were finally put in touch with Family Promise. We got the intake and went through all the steps. A week later we got a call inviting us into the network.  They said, “we will help Ron find work and help you to regain housing”. Same story, just a different group of people. We weren't expecting anything but at least we would be together with a roof over our heads for a bit. Our daughter who had just turned 18 decided she did not want to enter into a shelter situation so just Ron the baby and I went into Family Promise. After a few weeks Danielle told me she wanted to be with us. I thought, this was never going to work since she didn't enter with us. I took a shot and talked to Carolyn who reassured me that the program was called FAMILY Promise and Danielle, our daughter, was more than welcome to join us. We really gave the network a workout with our work schedules.

Rarely would you find us all together. With the help of the volunteers in the network everything went smoothly. They made sure we had everything we needed to make this process as stress free as possible. The volunteers made sure I got back from work every night no matter what time I got done. During the day Ron plugged away at job hunting.  He sent out resumes out all day, every day. Finally, a month and a half later he landed not one but two job opportunities. He actually had to decide which job to take!  We saved and saved and finally it was time to find our own place.

Ron and I talked everyday how this doesn't seem real. All the time we spent without any help trying to get our lives straight and in a 3 month period Family Promise got us all together, working, got the baby in day care, and we were on our way to independence again. Finally on December 1st we signed our lease. But we had nothing: no dishes, no furniture, no food. Family Promise wasn't going to let that happen. Everything we needed for a fresh start we got. We moved into our rental property on December 2, with everything from beds to couches to dishes and food.

Our whole time at Family Promise, we never pressured or worried about ending up back on the streets. We were determined to win this and Family Promise was determined to help us. They guided us on budgeting, handling our expenses and just everything we needed to make this work.   We worked hard and they put in a lot of work too but they gave us the tools and guidance we needed to make things happen.  There were no empty promises. Everything they said they would do they did.

Here we are almost one year later still enjoying our independence with Family Promise still with us.  My husband’s job went full-time with benefits and I continue to work my same job.  Our daughter is working and now seriously looking into going back to school.  Our grandson is doing wonderful too.  Family Promise didn't leave us once we gained our independence.  They continue to make sure we are doing well and help out here and there. I now have the opportunity to give back by being on the Board of Directors.  This really is a great organization for people who are truly sincere about getting back on their feet.  Thank you.

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