Thursday, June 13, 2013

Great progress!

[CitySquare works with thousands of different people every year.  One area we're working to improve has to do with sharing compelling narratives regarding the progress of neighbors we know and with whom we work to construct a better, stronger community. What follows is just such a personal story of progress!  The reporter is Krystal Lotspeich, a member of our Neighbor Support Services team.   What follows are some of her notes about Tiffany.]

Tiffany was first introduced and referred to CitySquare by a neighbor in her apartment complex.  She first came to CitySquare to receive food assistance and she later requested to receive case management services.  

At intake Tiffany needed financial assistance, education/job training, employment, transportation, housing, clothing and a bed for her son.  She was on a fixed income-with barely enough money to get by and often struggled to meet her basic needs and had little to no support system.

Intensive Case Management involved working on setting and completing goals, assisting with updating resume, and providing hygiene and toiletries.  We found her a bed for her 9-year-old son from the Thrift Store, as well as clothing, and additional community resources. Referrals were made to community resources such as The Mayor's Back to School Fair which provided Tiffany with school supplies. Tiffany was able to get a current and valid ID from the Wilkinson Center.  Tiffany was also able to obtain financial assistance with her rent through community resources that were given to her.

Today, Tiffany is no longer financially stressed, has a strong support system, is stably housed and focused on her education.  

The first time I met with her the first thing she said was that she wanted a case manager to help her with setting and achieving goals.   Tiffany’s fixed income of $698, from her son’s SSI, made it difficult to meet her basic needs.  She was paying $600 for a one-bedroom apartment for her and her son, who at the time did not have his own bed.  

After rent was paid, she barely had enough to get by.  Tiffany had bigger dreams and goals but was often too overwhelmed with just trying to make it day-by-day that she didn’t even know where to begin or how to achieve success with all the barriers she faced.  

Through consistent and continuous intensive case management we were able to break down her goals, identify her barriers and empower her to work towards change, achieve success and accomplish her goals- one goal at a time.  She is resourceful, a great problem solver and a go getter.  She is determined and optimistic, resilient and ready for change.  In addition, she has found a positive support system through her church. 

Tiffany has a goal of continuing her education so she can find better employment.  She now has an updated customized resume.  She enrolled in the Lawyers Assistance school of Dallas in Aug. 2012 and graduated in February this year.  She plans on furthering her education and will start working on her associates degree in August 2013.  She dreams of getting her Bachelors in Sociology.  

She has moved into a safer and more affordable apartment.  Tiffany’s son is now receiving counseling services and she is looking into receiving mental health services as well.  She is stably housed, no longer financially stressed and is really able to focus on her dreams.  Tiffany still meets with her case manager in person and over the phone so she can continue to work on goals and provide updates on her success.  

UPDATE:  I received an email from Tiffany recently stating that she is now employed as a Legal Assistant at The Almasri Marzwanian Law Group in north Dallas.  She reports that for once in her life she is “happy and stress free.”  She further said “Who would have ever thought I would go from the Food Pantry to Corporate America in nine months.”  She says that CitySquare was a MAJOR part of this positive change in her life and she is happy to tell her story.   


Anonymous said...

Great story!

I find it interesting that, when you post personal stories about people takings risks for others (like yesterday) or people succeeding on their own after getting a hand up (like today) there is radio silence from the peanut gallery of nay-saying anons. No "we may disagree about some things, but ..." posts. No acknowledgment that something good has happened. It just confirms their real motives and intentions. They are only interested in lobbing grenades, not in the possibilty of learning anything or in something good actually being accomplished.

Anonymous said...

Gernade lobbing permitted. Keep off the grass

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