A participant graduates:
Johanne was referred to CSC by her pastor for financial guidance and support. While she was employed and did not need emergency financial assistance, her credit cards were maxed out, and she was very anxious about her precarious position. She was especially concerned about the coming summer months because she was employed by a school, so there would be no paychecks at all during the summer. Past summers were hard times for her, and she dreaded going to churches and agencies to ask for help to pay her rent.
CSC met with Johanna twice a month for six months. In preparation for our meetings we asked her to track her expenses because we found that she was spending a considerable amount of money that could not be accounted for in the budget we developed. When Johanne’s job ended for the summer the CSC guided her in looking for a temp job. After searching and interviewing for a time, she was able to get a temp summer job. For the first time in many summers, she did not have to ask anyone for financial assistance, and instead has been able to save some money. She also came to realize that she enjoyed working at the school much more than working in a business, so she is looking forward to returning to school.
When participants become financially stable for a period of time, they are able to graduate from the CSC, which is what Johanne did! It is great when participants graduate and are able to fly on their own, but we do love to hear updates from them from time to time.
CSC helps with a power shut off:
Alice, a single mom, came to the CSC after she had been living without electricity for four days because she hadn't paid her bill. Many low income people receive assistance from the government to help with their heat and electricity during the winter months. Alice was denied this assistance because she was right on the line of earning too much money to qualify. But she had been living paycheck to paycheck for years, and she had fallen behind on her utility bill. In the past, Alice handled crises by paying bills with her credit cards, but now they were maxed out. Then disaster struck another blow when her car broke down, and she fell behind on her rent to pay for the repair.
When she came to CSC, our first concern was to get her power reconnected. CSC does not have strict income guidelines that would cause us to deny her, but she did need to show that she could pay the next month's bills. By cutting her budget to the essentials and utilizing resources available to her, CSC was able to help make her budget sustainable. Then CSC paid to have her power turned on. We were also able to find a resource to pay her long overdue rent. Now she is working with us on a long-term plan to pay off her debts and build savings, which she says she is ready and eager to do here.
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1600 Silver Lake Rd. NW, New Brighton, MN