Family overcomes all obstacles with the help of CCDP's Family Development
A Family Development Specialist writes about the growth they see as a family moves through obstacle after obstacle.
"When we first met in Sept. of 2020 this family had just moved to Pueblo from Colorado Springs. One of the adult caregivers was let go from employment at the height of the COVID- 19 shut down. Needing to secure new housing, the family came to Pueblo to live with their uncle. The relationship was rocky from past experiences together but they decided to be there for each other regardless.
It’s a definite strength the family has and it was recognized right away that; they put issues to the side and do what they have to do and do right by each other. When I think of the protective factors and how important social connections are, I know that the mother in the home thrives when she uses the needs of her family as motivation. She had to step up and did time and time again while we worked together.
It had been a rough transition on its own but the pandemic was making it even harder to put things back together. The family accepted CCR services and I got involved pretty intensively right away. First and foremost the family wanted to find employment and get the girls education set up. What I mean by that is the mother in the home’s two daughters were still staying with other family many days out of the week and hadn’t been enrolled locally yet. I sent them information for the Pueblo Community Health Center to receive local healthcare and the mother in the home enrolled them in local school. Per their request I brought the assistance application and local resource information and we put a flex-fund in place for $75 to get the kids school supplies. I was also able to get a donation for coats right about that time.
Things seemed to be off to a good start. It was surprising how quick walls were broken down and the family opened up. That kind of vulnerability is rare and beautiful and it takes a lot of inner strength. On top of the stress, the mother in the home was battling addiction and began services with the front range clinic but the rapport wasn’t established enough for them to fully meet her needs and regardless she stayed sober. I think staying busy was her way of staying out of trouble and directing all of her energy to family development and her goals. All of the family members were looking for work. Utilities were getting shut off notices and being put into their own names. The strain on their relationships was getting worse and the mother in the home feared that everything was going to fall apart. It was like divine intervention when that next month everything would move in a better direction. The mother in the home was applying for as many resources as she could find and all family members were pushing themselves to the limit to find some security.
All the effort was making a difference. Even the teenage boys were getting interviews. I tried to do my part too by signing them up with the food distributions etc. The family received 9 food boxes in the 20 weeks we worked together; this included Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. The family also got Halloween costumes and Christmas gifts donated. I helped them apply for utility and rent assistance, I did a food stamps application for them and their other nephew who just came to live with them as well. I provided information about local mental health providers that accepted Medicaid, Provided the links for them to apply for drivers licenses, gave them the American Driving Academy website address so they could schedule a driving test, I brought the applications for low-income housing units and the pre-application for the Housing Authority of Pueblo, I turned in their pre- application for housing too, When short on money for a prescription I told them about Cooperative Care and they contacted that office. Even though they decided not to go forward with the referrals I told them about our disability navigation services and Rehire programs, the SCAN program was accepted when we reached the end of our time together and SCAN is helping the family complete their transportation and housing goals.
In December the unemployment benefits for the mother in the home returned to accomplish their income goal, Fernando found employment to complete their employment goal and rent was caught up on from the previous 4 months. This was HUGE! Things were finally becoming more stable and they applied for rent assistance but Home Stability ran out of funds before they could get the help. They didn’t get discouraged and decided to apply for the Community Service Block Grant which closed the application the day they applied too and they were still s determined to figure out their situation that they are submitting a new application with help from the SCAN program to give it their best. I hope they stay in communication with them to get rent help for now. In the future it would be amazing to see them on housing or in a new home. That was a huge goal for the family.
"It has been an amazing opportunity to see them grow so much in such a short period of time."
After all we have done together I took a food box to the mother in the home to say our goodbye’s in person and couldn’t help it. I had plenty of tears streaming down my face. It has been an amazing opportunity to see them grow so much in such a short period of time. They are on their way and I have no doubts that transportation and new housing are right around the corner. I thank them for allowing me to be a part of their story."