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Jessica Smith and her family were referred to the Elizabeth Coalition to House the Homeless through Family Promise. This single mom touched the hearts of the staff at Family Promise as a result of her kind disposition, her sense of hard work and ambition, and the dedication she showed to her family.
Jessica had her share of difficulties growing up with little in the way of life’s opportunities and skills, but was always determined to not be defined by her past circumstances. Her focus is, and has always been, on making a better life for her and her two children.
When she lost her job stocking shelves at a local warehouse, Jessica and the children, aged 6 and 7, were evicted from their apartment after falling behind on the bills. Unfortunately, it was pretty difficult for her to secure full time employment, because she lacked a high school diploma. Evicted from her apartment because of her inability to pay the rent, Jessica was accepted into the Family Promise Program.
Always thankful, she and the children stayed at Family Promise until Jessica was able to secure a job at a local supermarket. Jessica took extra hours at every opportunity given to her by her new employer. She began saving money but due to the fact that there is a lack of affordable housing in Elizabeth, she still was unable to secure enough money needed to achieve self-sufficiency for her and her two small children.
And that is where the Elizabeth Coalition was able to step in to help. Since entering our transitional housing program, Hospitality House, Jessica has been able to save money, create and stick to a budget, and has begun paying down her debt. In addition to raising two small children and working, Jessica enrolled in a fast track program to obtain her GED – yet another step toward making that better life for her family.
The Smith family express sincere gratitude for this program. The Elizabeth Coalition finds it obvious that Jessica and her family are determined to succeed and are well on their way to independence and an apartment of their own to call home.