I was living in a basement apartment with my daughter. Unfortunately, I had to have knee surgery, and what was supposed to be a month off of work stretched to 3 months. Without work, we lost our housing, and with no other alternative, I found myself in the shelter with my 11 year-old daughter. It was heartbreaking.
Once I was healed, I tried to make-up for lost time, working two part-time jobs to make ends meet. A Cornerstones case worker encouraged me to join the Training Futures program to help improve my job skills for a better paying job. The program included an internship at NOVA Community College in the purchasing department. They liked my work so much that they offered me a position that paid me more than my other two jobs combined. Finally, I had normal hours, a chance to advance and was able to have more time with my daughter.
She also suggested Cornerstones’ Financial Literacy program. With the aid of my volunteer financial mentor, I was able to improve my credit score by paying down debt, while still being able to put money away into savings in the Cornerstones’ trust accounts.
I was accepted into Fairfax County’s First Time Home Buyers program. Five years after we were first homeless, I was able to purchase my first home. Our life is forever changed!
My daughter, who was struggling in school all those years while we battled with homelessness was connected to a tutor. She has now received a presidential award for academic achievement. She is finally beginning to bloom, and it is all because of Cornerstones.
But what brought joyful tears to my eyes is when we moved into our new home this spring. My daughter came to me and said, “Mom, no more boxes. We don’t have to move anymore. No more boxes.”
I can’t believe I made it. Thank you Cornerstones for giving us a start at a new secure life!