June 10 at 1:39pm
Social Services Program Changes Life of Interfaith Client
Continuing unemployment rates, coupled with San Diego County’s high cost of living, creates significant hurdles for low-income families working towards self-sufficiency. While the economy recovers from the recession, 1 in 4 families still remain below the poverty line. Thankfully, the Family & Social Services Program at Interfaith Community Services helps over 19,000 individuals chart a course towards independence and self-reliance each year.
Lucilo, a former client of Interfaith’s, came to the organization with a need for access to many of the resources available through the Social Services Program and today, is enjoying life with his family by his side.
Lucilo started his journey with Interfaith by way of the food pantry; he regularly received nutrition assistance, including turkeys during Thanksgiving to help supplement holiday meals. However, when Lucilo began using drugs, his life started to spiral out of control; Child Protective Services became involved, putting his children in the care of his mother and he quickly found himself homeless – alternating between living in motels, with friends and out of his truck.
“I ended up having a moment where I was tired of using and all I wanted was my kids back,” said Lucilo. “The only way I could do that was by turning my life around.”
After using drugs periodically for over 29 years, Lucilo decided to get clean and entered into a rehabilitation facility. After graduating from the program, his social worker referred him to Interfaith for assistance obtaining employment, identification, as well as fighting tickets and fines he had accumulated over the years.
“My worst fear was to be homeless again,” said Lucilo. “Once I started working with Interfaith, everything good started happening.”
With Interfaith’s help, Lucilo was able to eliminate nearly $7,000 in fines he had accrued, obtain his driver’s license permit, and thanks to the donation of a local faith center, get a hold of the proper tools to become an apprentice plumber.
Today, thanks to Interfaith’s rental assistance program, Lucilo lives in a three-bedroom condo in Escondido with enough room for his two sets of twins, ages four and nine.
“When I put my key in the door, just to walk into my own house and know it’s mine, it’s amazing,” said Lucilo. “Interfaith has been a blessing to me.”
“If you had asked me 15 months ago if this would be my life, I would have never believed it,” said Lucilo. “It has been like a miracle. I am so glad I gave myself a chance at a new life.”
Interfaith Community Services is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit social services agency. For information on how you can contribute to the organization with either monetary gifts, in-kind donations, or through volunteer work, please contact Interfaith’s Chief Development Officer, Robert Adams, at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (760) 489-6380 x 206.