Meet Ilisapeti and Hen

family hugging

December 27, 2021

Ilisapeti had never learned to budget. When she, her husband, Hen, and their three children moved to Las Vegas, the casinos seemed more like a fun pastime than the treacherous path they became.

“I loved the slots!” Ilisapeti recalls. “I enjoyed spending. I used up all our money without thinking about my family.”

What followed was homelessness. The family found a shelter, but when Ilisapeti and Hen considered their future, they knew that wasn’t enough. They turned to Family Promise of Las Vegas because it offered the opportunity to achieve stability.

“We wanted stable housing. I needed to stop gambling. Family Promise opened my eyes to what we could do,” Ilisapeti says.

Family Promise sheltered the family and worked with them on budgeting and planning. Ilisapeti and Hen also participated in New Beginnings, a Family Promise financial literacy program that was facilitated by the president of a local bank.

“It was hard!” Ilisapeti says. “I was shocked when I learned how much money I should be saving! I used to just spend. I needed to make more money.”

An old injury kept Hen from working, leaving Ilisapeti the sole provider. She considers their time at Family Promise a wake-up call. They learned how to prioritize spending and set goals, and Family Promise provided meals and other necessities so they could focus on a fresh start.

“We finally started saving,” says Ilisapeti. “You can’t get ahead if you have all these expenses, and my problem was saving.”

With help preparing a resume and obtaining a work wardrobe, Ilisapeti found a better paying job. Now, the family is in their own apartment, furnished in part by Family Promise donations, and Ilisapeti and Hen are learning to budget their increased income and hone parenting skills. They still have their struggles, but they’re determined to succeed.

“What really motivates me is my kids,” Ilisapeti says. “They were scared and asked why we were always moving. They’re happy now that we’re in our own place.”

She adds, “Family Promise is like nothing we’ve ever gone through. It’s not just a bed. They help you get ahead to have a good life.”

This year, thousands of families like Ilisapeti and Hen’s faced life-altering challenges. Their situations were unique, but they had one thing in common: Family Promise. Family Promise Affiliates across the country provided families in need with food, shelter, job search assistance, and access to critical resources. But we couldn’t have done it without the support of people like you.

Your support enables families in crisis to turn tragedy into triumph.

Please help change the lives of children and families in crisis with a gift to Family Promise!

Dial 211 to find more resources near you.