Sarah came to us in May 2013. When she first came to us, she had one of four children here with her. Her children are 19, 16, 5 and 2. Her family was split up due to unemployment and not having an apartment of their own. They had not had their own place together since May 2012.

When Sarah was laid off in April 2013, she began staying with a friend. No matter how good and welcoming friends are, when you come with three children, it’s never a sure thing. She moved the children to another friend’s house and then let the two youngest stay with their fathers. That was when the trouble all began.

When Sarah came to us, she was in the midst of a DHS case involving one of her daughters and her father. This was not their first time being involved with DHS. But Sarah was determined to make it her last. The case was never against Sarah; it was a case dealing with the child’s father. However, she needed to do her part with her daughter as well. Shortly after coming here, she was able to have the three youngest kids with her, and her oldest was with her parents.

Then Sarah really started to change. She got involved with Total Child, part of the Four Oaks initiative. Their goal is to surround a family with services until their children grow up or until the parent(s) are able to help them themselves. Through this program, Sarah got involved with the PATHS program, which pays her $100 a week. Two days a week, she goes to computer classes and groups. In the afternoon, she participates in a work crew to gain skills. After this 10 week program, there is the possibility of being offered an internship in one of the participating organizations or businesses. In addition, she had been applying for jobs on the opposite days in order to afford housing.

Housing has been Sarah’s biggest hurdle. She had previously lived in Section 8 housing as well as HUD housing and HACAP transitional housing. Without these options, her time and space were limited.

After Sarah started working hard, a blessing was presented to her. A landlord by the name of Jane Doorman had a three bedroom house available if someone was willing to do the work. Sarah was willing and able. In September, Sarah and all four of her children were finally able to move into their new home … all together the way a family should be. Sarah and her family are working hard to keep up their new home.