March 4 at 1:33pm
Client Success Story: Amber & Jacob
Interfaith’s Family Housing program provides much more than just shelter for North County’s homeless families. While enrolled in the Family Housing program, each family works closely with our skilled Client Advocates to gain life skills training, vocational assistance and counseling to overcome barriers that have kept them from attaining self-sufficiency. While Interfaith’s ultimate goal is to transition Family Housing participants into permanent housing, families enrolled in this program often undergo a much more comprehensive evolution both personally and professionally. Exemplifying the transformational effect of the Family Housing program, former clients Jacob and Amber successfully broke the cycle of homelessness and are now a path towards success.
Jacob and Amber, both Escondido natives, came to Interfaith as a young, newly married couple who had just welcomed their first daughter, Rayne, into their lives. At the time, Amber, 19, and Jacob, 23, found themselves unemployed and without a stable home to raise their daughter. While they were eager to succeed, neither had ever lived outside of their respective families’ homes. They were unfamiliar with how to maintain a clean, well-functioning household and needed guidance as to how to start building a life for their family.
With the help of their Interfaith Community Services’ case manager, Jacob and Amber moved into the Family Housing program and began their respective searches for employment. With mentoring, coaching, and counseling they both quickly became employed, dropping their daughter off at day care in the mornings and diligently taking public transportation to and from work each day.
“We weren’t good parents and we weren’t a good couple before we got started with Interfaith,” said Amber. “Without the Family Housing Program and its staff, we wouldn’t be the adults or parents we are today.”
As a result of the employment development services they received, Jacob secured a position as a DMV Specialist at AAA, and Amber as a cashier at Harrah’s Casino. The couple also successfully completed life skills trainings, as well as both individual and marriage counseling. Through it all, Jacob and Amber remained dedicated to the program and motivated to create a better life for their family.
“In counseling we began to see all the people that were having negative effects on our lives and realized that we were the best support for each other,” commented Amber.
By the time Jacob and Amber were ready to leave Interfaith’s Family Housing Program, they became eligible for a Section 8 voucher to help afford their permanent housing. To date, they say one of their biggest accomplishments has been learning how to save their money and create a budget – skills that recently helped them buy their first car together and rely less upon public transportation.
Today, Jacob and Amber are better than ever before and are expecting their second child, who they plan to name Zephyr, this March. Because of their professional success and newfound financial stability, the couple can now fully afford their housing without assistance and will be returning their Section 8 housing voucher at the end of the year.
“Without this program, we wouldn’t be where we are today,” said Amber. “We’re not perfect, but we are so much better off than we’ve ever been.”
If you are interested in learning more about Interfaith’s Family Housing Program, attend an information session on the 2nd or 4th Monday of each month at 3:00pm at 550 West Washington Ave, Escondido. You can also call (760).489.6380 or click here.