Last spring, when most people were worrying about the health pandemic and COVID vaccines, Karlene and her family had bigger concerns: where to sleep. Their car was their home for a brief time when they lost their housing and witnessing the chaos the pandemic had caused in the world, the single mom predicted a rough journey ahead. But when they found Family Promise of Brevard in Rockledge, FL, Karlene saw a light at the end of the tunnel.
Family Promise got the family into a hotel and provided meals and supplies for them. Although Karlene had a steady job, she worked with Family Promise on goal setting and budgeting with the intention of saving for her own home. Dedicated to success and working extra hours, Karlene saved more than $4,000 within a month of coming to Family Promise.
The disruption of COVID and the family’s living situation meant her son had missed some school, so Family Promise helped enroll him in a new district, and it wasn’t long before the family moved into an affordable apartment. Karlene says none of this would have happened without Family Promise.
“It can be really hard for single parents,” she says. “Coming up with all that money — first and last month’s rent, a security deposit — that’s not easy if you can’t save up. Without Family Promise, I think we’d still be homeless.”
Now her son is thriving in school, and Karlene is in the process of earning her GED. She continues to work with Family Promise to maintain stability.
“Just knowing someone’s there to check on you and make sure you’re staying on task, I like that,” she says. “It helps keep me focused.”
Eventually, Karlene hopes to attend culinary school.
“I love cooking with a passion. Any time I’m in the kitchen, I just love making people smile with good food,” she says.
Her experience at Family Promise helped shape her plans, and she adds, “Once I get into school, I’d love to give back to Family Promise and help other families who need food.”
Karlene and her family are well on their way to a better future, and they’re grateful for all they learned at Family Promise.
“It was tough,” Karlene says. We went from living in a car to a hotel, then a hotel to our apartment. It would be easy to get discouraged, but once we got to Family Promise, I knew better days were coming.”
This year, thousands of families like Karlene’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.