“The impact of this virus on our community is highlighting the continued risks that our program participants face on their healing journey.” This is what CeCe’s Hope Center’s Case Manager shared over the phone this week. Monica has walked alongside hundreds of young women over the years and she’s supported many different journeys. She’s connected women to services who really start to “get it,” and take their new opportunities seriously, and she’s worked with plenty of women who were not ready to make a change.
Over the past 30 days, we have been rewarded by seeing some lessons and guidance that each of our program participants receive become useful, such as “saving for a rainy day,” or having a back-up plan for employment and housing. All of our current program participants have experienced either a total loss of income or a drastic reduction in their work hours. Some no longer have a place to stay as suddenly their roommates chose to abandon their part of the lease. A few of our program participants don’t qualify for a stimulus check so we have been able to connect them with special food boxes to help out. Many of these women are struggling to use the miscellaneous ingredients and unusual items that are included. Monica has researched recipes, provided ideas about how to approach a landlord without a full month’s rent, and continues to urge those that can, to save the extra two dollars per hour they are being paid or half of their stimulus check for the future. She is fielding creative ideas for working from home and providing words of wisdom and hope to those that don’t know where they will sleep next week.
What really stands out to her is the tenacity and creativity of some of our program participants. Some of our participants are even using their down time to take classes online so they can improve their job prospects. These are the women that will make it through this stronger, with a few dollars saved, and with new skills to build upon as they continue to grow and thrive. We celebrate these young women today because their lights are shining bright!