"Being homeless didn't feel good, but I will tell you what did feel good -- having some place warm to stay at night, having something to eat, being able to open a gift on Christmas morning. What Inspirica does is impactful"
-- Carlos, former Inspirica client, current Inspirica Young Professionals Member
A special note we received from a former client
Persistence is Key
For Joanna S., Inspirica was the light at the end of a dark tunnel she wasn’t sure she would ever exit. As her marriage deteriorated and the abuse inflicted on her by her then-husband worsened, Joanna packed up her few belongings (only a purse and a small bag) and her daughter, Leah (8), and sought refuge at her cousin’s place. Unfortunately, Joanna and Leah couldn’t live there for long. With nowhere else to turn, she turned to Inspirica.
When Joanna and Leah arrived at Inspirica’s door, they didn’t know what to expect. Maggie Manda, our Director of Family Housing, walked a very scared Joanna through the intake process, and, shortly thereafter, they were able to enter our Family Housing Program. At a time when she felt most alone and unsure, Inspirica’s staff was able to comfort her and begin the process of getting her headed back in the right direction.
“For the first time in a very long time, I felt safe and cared for.”
Joanna utilized our Jumpstart Career Program to its fullest extent. She regularly attended classes, practiced interviewing with our staff, and diligently listened to the advice she was offered. One lesson emphasized in the Jumpstart classes – “follow-up with every lead” – forever changed Joanna’s trajectory. Joanna took those words to heart and followed up every day for two weeks after an interview. Her persistence paid off. She was offered the job in a health care facility and will shortly celebrate her one-year anniversary with the organization!
In addition to the support she received with employment, Joanna also received significant help navigating the school system. Curtis Troeger, our Director of Children’s Services, helped Joanna advocate on behalf of Leah for an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). Leah was also enrolled in our after-school program where she was able to interact with her peers in a healthy, positive and productive environment while allowing Joanna to work without worry. We were even able to get Leah into camp in both the spring and summer so Joanna could continue working!
On May 2, 2017, Joanna and her daughter were able to move into their own apartment in Stamford.
She credits the patience and hard work of Missie Heagney, her case manager, the advocacy of the Children’s Services Program, and the amazing work of the entire Jumpstart Employment Program.
“I am thankful for the second chance Inspirica gave us”
Terrance, a single father of two girls, was balancing two part-time jobs so he could care for Shanice and Shea (ages 8 and 9). He made just enough to meet his family’s living expenses. Then he lost one of his jobs. With nowhere to turn, he faced an agonizing reality: he could no longer provide for his children or put a roof over their heads.
It’s a nightmare scenario more and more working families in our community face each day. Fortunately, Terrance called Inspirica.
“I am thankful for the second chance Inspirica gave us.” – Terrance
We were able to help Terrance and his children. When they arrived at Inspirica, Shanice and Shea were immediately enrolled in our Children’s Services and afterschool program where they received critical academic, social, emotional and developmental support. Despite the trauma of being homeless, they thrived.
So did Terrance. He enrolled in our Jumpstart Career Program where he learned critical work skills. Recognizing his new ability, his supervisors at work offered him a full-time position with an increase in salary. Today, he and the girls are living in their own apartment in Stamford!