I am a single mother with three wonderful children. I have been in Fellowship Housing for 21 months and it is an honor to share my experience.
I have worked hard and struggled over the years to provide and care for my children. When my two oldest were little we lived in Chicago and I began to worry about their safety in the neighborhood we lived in. I decided to relocate to the suburbs to make sure they had a chance for a bright future. I was able to get a car and even though I had an hour commute to work it was all worth it knowing that my kids had a safe place to live. Eventually I was able to get a job closer to home with better pay. Despite the job change and increase in income I continued to face financial difficulties. I didn’t want my kids to see me struggling, but there were times when I worried about whether or not I would be able to put food on the table. I was stressed, weary, and overcome by fear and anxiety. We had faced eviction and car repossession. I needed a miracle. I was so deep in debt with my monthly expenses it was difficult for me to get ahead. I was simply trying to provide and survive for my family.
With a friend’s help and encouragement, I found Fellowship Housing. When I was accepted into the program I was filled with joy and excitement, but most of all I was thankful for the opportunity. During my time in the program I have been able to pay off $11,400 in debt and my credit score has gone up by 113 points. My savings continues to grow. My bank teller even took notice and told me, “Whatever you’re doing, keep doing it because it’s been working!” I have been encouraged by colleagues and friends that have seen my faith and hard work and have told me that I have inspired them. While in the program I have been blessed to receive assistance with my groceries from Food for Friends, help with car repairs from CARS ministry and Christmas gifts. I have grown in my faith as I’ve been attending church on a weekly basis and was baptized. I continue to be amazed by all that God is doing and showing me in my life. I know that when I graduate from Fellowship Housing I will be debt free and able to manage my finances.
Throughout this journey I have been led by scripture and this verse has kept me going. In Isaiah 40:31 it says, “Those who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
*Name and photo changed in the interest of privacy.