In central Maryland, housing costs are among the highest in the nation — and rents continue to increase each year. While a marginal increase is merely inconvenient to some, to others, like Charlotte, a local mother of three, it can be debilitating.

Charlotte was barely making ends meet when her landlord made the unsettling announcement that he was raising her rent. Unable to afford the extra expense, Charlotte faced a parent’s worst nightmare: She couldn’t provide a safe, stable place for her children to sleep. Instead, Charlotte and her children crowded into the family’s car for the night.

It was at that moment that Charlotte realized she needed help to change her situation, so she turned to United Way of Central Maryland impact partner, St. Vincent de Paul of Baltimore. The organization referred Charlotte to Cottage Way, a transitional housing program committed to helping participants learn to live independently, with the ultimate goal of progressing to permanent housing and self-sufficiency.

To Charlotte, the keys to making that transition were returning to school and securing a job that would enable her to better provide for her family. With help from United Way and its partners — and a healthy dose of resilience and determination — Charlotte achieved both goals: She completed school, currently works two jobs, and opened a savings account to help provide a bright, stable future for her family.

Other stories

Owen’s Story
Cherice’s Story
Victoria’s Story
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For more than 90 years, United Way of Central Maryland has been improving lives in the communities it serves: Anne Arundel County, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County and Howard County, Maryland.

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