Kicked to the Curb: A Mother’s Tale of Finding Support after Eviction

United Way fights for the education, health and financial stability of every person in Lucas, Wood and Ottawa counties.

CARENET

INVESTMENT DATA OVERVIEW

CareNet coordinates access to healthcare services for low income residents of Lucas County, and helps residents navigate healthcare and social services, while addressing barriers to care.

In 2018 CareNet had nearly 750 active members who were not eligible for public or private healthcare coverage.

Also in 2018, CareNet served a total of 1,008 individuals who received coordinated healthcare services or assistance from a community health worker.

For the 2018-2019 funding cycle, United Way has invested $50,762 in CareNet’s “access to healthcare programming, all possible because of generous donors and donor designations.

The blaring of the ambulance siren as it leaves the station was my alarm clock, gas bills were calculated by the gallon, all my belongings were within an arm’s reach, and showers were only taken when I could find somewhere to bathe. This is what life was like living out of a cramped, mid-sized sedan.

Some people dream about living life on the road, for me it was a nightmare.

After being laid off from my factory job, it was almost impossible for me to keep up with rent payments and bills. Working at a factory had never been my life’s goal, but it paid the bills and allowed me to put food on the table for my two kids. The one positive thing that came from the layoff was I could look at employment options that might be more like careers–such as nursing.

Over the days and months following my layoff, it became a race against time. I needed to get a job, or we’d lose the roof over our heads.

Then, somewhat suddenly, time just ran out…

While I was away taking my licensed practical nursing test, my landlord decided he’d had enough. I came back to find he had moved my eviction day up and forcibly took all our belongings out of the apartment we’d called home. Our furniture–honestly, all we had–was tossed on the lawn and was quickly being picked up off the road by others excited to discover a “cheap furniture find.”

“We literally got kicked to the curb and the roof over our heads became the hood of a used 2008 Pontiac Grand Prix.”

I hit rock bottom. I was homeless and depressed. I felt like I was in an endless downward spiral of trying to get money, yet unable to get a job because I didn’t know what to do with my kids while at work.

Then, I met my guardian angel Andrea, a CareNet Community Health Worker.

Andrea helped me find funds that allowed us to rent a home. For the first time in a long time, we got a roof over our heads again—one I was proud to live under. And, she didn’t stop there… Andrea helped us replace dishes, furniture and other items taken during the eviction. Additionally, she assisted us in gaining access to community services like mental health counseling, student loan assistance and healthcare services for my kids.

With a place to call home and increased support all around, I once again began looking for a job–something Andrea also inspired…

“Have you thought about becoming a Community Health worker yourself?” Andrea asked me one day.

Honestly, before I met Andrea, I didn’t even know the career existed.

I remember at the time of her suggestion looking intently over at my children, who were running around their new bedroom, jumping on their beds with joy. (Something they would never have been able to do in our crowded Pontiac.) My kids felt my stare and immediately exclaimed in unison, “Thank you, Miss Andrea!”

  • What if I could transform someone’s life the same way Andrea transformed mine?
  • What if I could be someone’s guardian angel and find their kids a bed to jump for joy on?

Without Andrea and the support of CareNet, I’d likely still be waking up to the sound of ambulance sirens driving by my car. Instead, I’m ready to begin my next big step in life. Inspired by her support, I too will change the lives of others who’ve faced, and are ready to survive, hard experiences just like mine.

*This blog post is based on true success stories from CareNet. All identities of submitted success stories are anonymous for privacy and story details have been added in order to provide a better understanding of the individual’s successes and struggles.

Change Maker Action: Because of your support and strong community partners, like CareNet, we can continue to help low-income residents of Lucas County navigate the healthcare system and gain access that they would not receive otherwise.