Heather’s Story: When Three Part-Time Jobs Still Aren’t Enough

Date: April 13, 2015
 Heather’s path in life hasn’t been easy, but her determination to provide a better life for her two children — Sam, a middle school student with autism, and Olivia, a smiley ten month old — never falters. After being laid off from her job, the Baltimore County resident patched together three part-time jobs in order to make ends meet for her family. But even still, Heather’s income wasn’t always enough to cover rent and bills.

Fearful that they would be evicted, Heather found help in United Way of Central Maryland’s family homelessness prevention program. Working with a case manager, Heather received employment training that led to her finding a full-time position with benefits, and received temporary financial assistance in the meantime that allowed her to keep her apartment. This success gave her the confidence she needed to go back to school to finish her degree, something she had dreamed of doing for years but never thought was possible.

Heather now feels a sense of pride and accomplishment that she’s never experienced before. Life is still busy and not without challenges, but the constant stress over money and jobs has dissipated. With a more stable, happy life at home, Sam’s teachers have noticed an improvement in his interactions with others, as well as his individual performance. And little Olivia benefits from having a more consistent schedule now that her mom has regular hours at her job.

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