Donna had many goals she hoped to accomplish while with New Ground, but education was always the priority.
“In the Long Term Housing Program, I feel that I did a good amount of work to move my family forward, especially in the area of education securing my own higher degree as an LPN, ensuring that my oldest daughter graduated from high school and then college with a Bachelor Degree, assisting my second daughter with finishing high school and attending college for her Bachelor Degree, working with my niece intensively to see that she passed each grade to be promoted to the next level, and finally seeing that my son did well in school. He made Honor Roll regularly in high school.”
But she knew that education goals on their own were not enough to help her establish a brighter future for her family. Donna and her children had been living in unsafe conditions before moving into the Long Term Housing Program. Their landlord had shut off the water to their building, thus also causing sanitation issues. Despite working fulltime as a Certified Nurses Aid, she did not earn enough to afford decent housing for her family. In her first months of the program, she outlined a long list of goals she planned to achieve.
“This included working to increase my overall household income. I secured a new fulltime job with my LPN. I was also hired by 3 Nursing Agencies for per diem shifts to add to my regular weekly income. In addition to taking steps to increase my household income, I also worked on cleaning up my credit report, as I knew that any landlord considering me as a tenant wanted to see this. My credit report prevented me from being considered as a tenant because I was seen as too great a risk. There were a couple of debts that I made payments to clear them up.”
After seven years with New Ground, Donna secured a market rent apartment in the neighborhood of her choice with good schools for her younger children. In the years since leaving us, all of her children graduated high school and went on to complete higher education programs continuing to fulfill their mother’s goals for a brighter future.