Between Amber, her four children, and all their worldly possessions, the family’s minivan was filled to capacity.
Amber had been working as a property manager at her apartment complex, but when the facility underwent a management change just prior to the COVID-19 crisis, she lost her job and her lease was terminated without reason. The family was given one week to vacate their home. They loaded their van and headed straight to Family Promise.
The day Amber and her four children found Family Promise of Gallatin Valley, MT, was the day they started down the path to lasting independence. Family Promise brought them into its shelter program, found a storage unit for their belongings, and got to work assessing and addressing their needs. The family had undergone a significant amount of trauma in the past, so Family Promise set them up with counseling services right away.
Family Promise also helped Amber navigate her job search amid the chaos of the COVID-19 pandemic. She liked working with her hands, so Family Promise connected her to a secure job with a landscaping company. The next hurdle was childcare for her children, who range in age from one to nine.
“Childcare is hard to come by in Bozeman (Montana) even in normal times,” says Christel Chvilicek, executive director at Family Promise of Gallatin Valley. “It’s more expensive to put a child in childcare than to enroll in the local university here!”
The Affiliate worked with the mom to find daycare, and before long the family was able to move into Family Promise’s transitional housing program. As Amber works toward independence she’ll pay a steadily growing portion of her rent, which will help her hone the budgeting and planning skills she’ll need to maintain stability.
“As a single mom of four I had a lot weighing on me, but Family Promise has helped me through this entire process,” Amber says. “Because of [Family Promise], I’m now in a home with my four children, and I’m able to make do in the community.”
The power of a stable home and hope for the future was really impressed on Amber when she woke up smiling the first morning in the family’s new home and one of her children exclaimed, “Mommy, you are so happy! I am so happy for you!”
Hear Amber’s story in her own words:
This Mother’s Day, we honor mothers everywhere, especially moms like Amber who have faced unthinkable obstacles yet found the strength and courage to forge ahead.
From the Family Promise family to your family, Happy Mother’s Day!