“Anna” lost her home to a devastating fire and was staying at a local shelter. As she was nearing the end of her 90 day stay at the shelter, she learned that her drug-addicted daughter had abandoned her three children, ages six, three, and nine months. Anna did not want the children to be placed in foster care. Even though her own situation was precarious and she had no idea how she would manage, Anna took responsibility for her grandchildren. She found an apartment, but did not have the funds for both the deposit and the first month’s rent. . . until Catholic Charities came into the picture.
A Catholic Charities’ caseworker met with Anna to review her budget. Together, the two discovered that the apartment Anna was interested in would be affordable for her family. Catholic Charities was able to pay the first month’s rent, and through referral and advocacy was able to get the utilities turned on.
The immediate problem had been solved, but Catholic Charities staff continued to work with Anna. The First Step program was able to provide a stroller, a Pack-n-Play crib, diapers and formula, in addition to case management until the family situation stabilized. Anna’s caseworker then referred Anna to other local programs that could help her financially and provide support and guidance as she adjusted to her new and unexpected responsibilities.
Looking back, Anna credits Catholic Charities with giving her the confidence and the means to step in and parent her grandchildren when her daughter could not. Today, Anna works out of her home part time and continues to have custody of her grandchildren.