Mr. M was barely making ends meet when he lost his job. It had been a temporary position with fewer than twenty hours a week, and barely paid above minimum wage. When he lost that job, it ultimately led to his eviction from his apartment. He stayed place to place for a time, went through the Community Intake Center to apply for housing, and finally found a temporary placement at Samaritan Ministries.
The economy has not improved much if at all for the low-income residents in our community, and it took Mr. M some time to find employment. Once he had secured work through another temporary service, he set about improving his housing situation. Mr. M met with a case manager on his first visit at Experiment in Self-Reliance to discuss his needs, his goals, and his existing resources that would help him meet those needs. His most immediate needs were housing and transportation, since he had to be able to get to work. Mr. M and his case manager decided that getting assistance with food while he learned budgeting skills would be a good idea as well. Finally, as a goal going forward, Mr. M wanted to go to Forsyth Technical Community College.
The first goal Mr. M worked on with his ESR case manager was to seek out affordable permanent housing for him. He met the criteria for the Forsyth County Rapid Re-housing Program and applied for a one bedroom apartment with Baldwin Properties of Winston-Salem. The apartment was approved, and Mr. M was able to move in almost immediately after. It felt to him that things were finally turning around for him and he was off to a brand new start.
Mr. M knows that improving his education will improve the employment and career opportunities that are available to him, and improve the potential for higher pay rates. He plans to enroll into the Culinary and Food Services classes taught at Forsyth Technical Community College in the near future. This particular training is for students who wish to upgrade their skills for new roles and expanded responsibilities in the Culinary and Food Service Industries.
Now that Mr. M is in stable housing, he is concentrating on his other goals, including researching how to get a vehicle, and how soon he’ll be able to go to school. He is taking advantage of all the resources ESR can offer him in his current situation, especially information and training, and connections with other agencies that can help. Mr. M works with his case manager to learn to budget the income he has, and has set up a budget that he can keep, which in time will allow him to begin saving. He doesn’t miss an opportunity to get a few more hours at work, because it helps financially and it shows his employer his willingness to work.
Mr. M is still far from achieving all of his goals, but he makes steady progress toward them. He and his case manager meet regularly to explore options for attaining his goals, and to update the actions he needs to take to get there. He is focused and hopeful now, and expects to achieve his goals, not only in ESR’s Housing program, but in the future as well.