Crisis Assistance Ministry’s Economic Mobility Program helps families move toward financial security and introduces pathways to economic opportunity. Outcomes are improved for families at risk of homelessness by addressing underlying social determinants of quality of life.
Enrolled families work one-on-one with a specially trained caseworker for an average of three months to identify barriers to financial security and to set goals for the future. Housing stability is guaranteed through a rent and/or utility subsidy while customers work towards their goals.
Individuals who are interested in the Economic Mobility Program should first meet with a caseworker in the Basic Needs Program.
Schawniekaw has worked three jobs sometimes to keep a roof over her family’s head. Still, it’s not enough. With the threat of eviction looming over her head, she turned to the community for help.
Last year, Julia shared her story of Thanksgiving after a visit to Crisis Assistance Ministry. Yet, hidden in that one brief moment were so many more moments of loss, resilience, and hope. This fall, Julia shared her journey with Crisis Assistance Ministry volunteers gathered for their annual recognition dinner. Here, in her own words, is her story.
“I know I am lucky. So many people need that kind of help and don’t have family and friends who are able to give it,” says Dywoine Massey. “I can relate to the situations moms and dads are in when they come here. That could have been me.” That’s what motivates him to keep coming back every day to his role coaching individuals and families beyond their immediate crisis toward economic mobility.
“People are really here to help you,” says Shaniora, an aspiring baker who found herself needing help when chronic illness and surgery derailed her plans to support herself while finishing her degree. Thanks to the support of our community, Crisis Assistance Ministry is thankful to be here for neighbors like Shaniora.
Kim is a portrait of resilience and persistence. After a medical emergency and a job layoff left her and her children at risk of eviction, she turned to Crisis Assistance Ministry for help. Thanks to community support, she found a way forward and few “small miracles” along the way.
William had it all – a happy family, a wonderful place to live, and a great job. All of that changed quickly and unexpectedly. With your help, his story on the upswing and he wouldn’t be smiling without your support.
Of the more than 1 million items that pass through the Free Store each year, a good number are new items donated by Walmart, thanks to a longstanding partnership with Second Harvest Food Bank. Recently, Walmart made a generous $20,000 donation to Crisis Assistance Ministry to support families struggling to meet life’s basic needs.
For over twenty years, Sheila worked at the same fast food restaurant, making salads for little more than minimum wage. After all that time, she earned just a dollar an hour more than the day she started. When a cut in her hours brought her to Crisis Assistance Ministry seeking assistance, her path began to change.
On May 4, Crisis Assistance Ministry joyfully celebrated the graduations of a new class of Customer Advocates. New graduate Kimberly reflected on her journey from customer to empowered advocate saying: “I have found my voice and will utilize it to the best of my ability to help families like mine understand that there is hope, that life happens to everyone, and that we must not give up but continue to move forward.”
A survivor who proudly proclaims her identity as a “person with a purpose,” Abigail arrived at Crisis Assistance Ministry in the coldest part of winter. Thanks to you, Abigail finally has a place to reclaim her purpose: not just to receive, but to give.