It was a big month for the SURE program. Good Neighbors was able to partner with Family Promise and Peninsula while assisting two different families with utility deposits. Both families had children and had been homeless. One family completed the Family Promise program and needed a little extra help with a utility deposit after finding a new place to live and the other family’s case worker had found a way to pay deposits for rental but this family needed assistance with the utility deposit. Good Neighbors was able to assist with both utility deposits and both families are now on their way to a stable environment for their children. Armed with multiple resources and new hope they are ready to face a new day!
Stories Of Hope
Trina came to Good Neighbors seeking assistance with the utility bill. She has been living on her own for several years and has done well. She has a good job that she really enjoys and feels appreciated by the management. She has some college credits and wants to continue with her education. She served in the military for nine months and was discharged due to a medical condition. All was well until she met her now previous boyfriend and allowed him to move in with her. After several months she discovered that he was stealing from her to fund his drug habit. When confronted he revealed he had not only stolen more than money, household items were also missing. She made him leave and has now found that bills were not paid that she assumed were paid and she is trying to catch up. Good Neighbors was able to help her with a portion of her utility bill. She is working a lot of overtime to catch up and her landlord is very understanding. Trina was able to pay the rest of the utility bill and plans to be all caught up by the end of March. She appreciated the extra resources she was given.
Laura came in with a disconnection notice from her utility company. Currently she is on disability and her husband was laid off from a landscaping company. While she was in the office he was at the DMV taking a test to get his CDL. If he passes he has a great job waiting for him and they should soon be operating within the budget. Being proactive she had been to CAA and has a voucher for LIHEAP, but it will not be credited to her account before disconnection. She was able to secure pledges from a few churches, pay part herself and GN covered the last $100. Disconnection avoided! Laura especially appreciated the Welcome Table and food pantry information!
Donna is an older adult and is struggling just a bit right now. She is having some medical testing done checking for effects of dementia and has a lot of anxiety. Recently she had a home repair that cost more than she could cover from her budget. She felt her only choice was to use a “title loan” company. She borrowed $200 only to find a few weeks later that she already owed almost $500. She knew she had chosen poorly but did not know how to get out of the situation. Her church referred her to GN and she qualifies for FEMA. Her February rent will be covered for one month and she will be able to balance her budget again. There are many choices ahead of her and she is getting help to make them. She was most appreciative of the resources shared.
Cheryl is almost 40 and she has been thinking about going back to school for a very long time. She had taken some college classes a while back and would not have to start at the beginning. She became really serious when the factory where she was working closed and she lost her job. One of children attends Pellissippi State and the other is in a county middle school. Faced with no job and an extremely large utility bill she went to Community Action Agency for assistance. They had no emergency funds left, but referred her to Good Neighbors. Along with help from a few local churches and a small portion of the bill covered by GN, Cheryl was able to keep the utilities connected. Checking in with her in January, she was excited to let us know that she had found a new job and still was going to be able to go back to school! She was very appreciative of the assistance.