Faith & Derek's Story
A Family Transformed
In Fall 2013, Faith and Derek* were struggling. They were on the verge of eviction and were in housing court every couple of months. At that time, they were paying 90% of their income on rent for themselves and their four minor children. Disabled, Derek is unable to work. In October 2013, the family joined EMERGE’s Fathers and Children Together (FACT) program for single or disabled fathers.
Our family advocate found the family a new, more affordable home. Faith and Derek were asked to pay 30% of their income towards rent. The rest was subsidized by the program. The family continued to have tension, but the family advocate’s counseling helped. She told them that Derek needed to find something to keep himself busy – volunteer work or a part time job. Despite his disability, Derek was able to become the caretaker for their apartment building and earn rent credit for the family.
EMERGE encouraged Faith to get involved in her children’s education, and she started volunteering at their school. She was there so many hours that she was offered a fulltime job. She now works as a paraprofessional/classroom aide.
The children have been very active in EMERGE’s after school Link program for the last year and a half. Last summer, three of the four children were able to attend camp for the first time through the Link program. The family advocate also connected the children to much-needed counseling services.
The family’s transformation was astounding – and quicker than expected. They were discharged in January 2015 because 30% of their income now exceeds their rent. They are now working with EMERGE’s Financial Opportunity Center with the goal of joining a rent-to-own housing program.
We are honored to be able to play a role in the transformation of this family. With a little support, Faith and Derek's hard work allowed them to achieve a stable, sustainable life for their children.
*Not their real names