A Next Step Program Participant, we’ll call her Claudia, learned about Next Steps of East Cooper (NSEC) through a September 2017 article in the Moultrie News. She was attracted to the concept of a hand-up program that would help her take the initiative to make positive changes in her life. Claudia has extensive education and work experience as a nursing assistant, health care technician, and in business management. However, her main goal in life was, with her husband, to raise their four children. But she now faces life as a single mom raising four children on her own. Due to alcohol abuse, her husband lost his job and their home. In his condition they are unable to depend on him and he is unable to live with the family.
To make ends meet, Claudia has recently been working as a retail clerk in a local store, sometimes supplementing their income with cleaning agencies as well as even some construction. Claudia entered the Next Step Program in early October 2017 and, with her NSEC Mentors’ support, identified three life-improving goals of: (1) permanent housing, (2) better employment, and (3) transportation.
As of December 2017, Claudia achieved her first goal by moving into a townhouse in Mt. Pleasant at a reduced rent of $1,100/month.
She recently updated her resume and is now actively interviewing for work that would allow her to be with her children as much as possible. Long range she is hoping to also have part time work from home providing an after hours telephone answering service perhaps matching caregivers to needs of patients needing in home care. Claudia is working with her family members to purchase a car so to achieve her third goal.
Claudia’s NSEC Mentors helped her think through various housing alternatives and job opportunities, polish her resume, and obtain donated furniture and furnishings for her new home. Their relationship has grown into a friendship, as is often the case in the Next Step Program where Mentors and Program Participants learn to plan and achieve each goal, one conversation at a time, one prayer at a time, and one step at a time. Claudia attends a church in East Cooper and has received love and support from her fellow Christians there.
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