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Joanna’s Hope Story: A Better Life for My Kids

My name is Joanna and this is my family’s hope story…

Me and my three children moved from out of state in hopes of finding a better life in a safe, neighborly community. I was able to find a good job but my wages weren’t covering all our monthly expenses. I had heard about Catholic Charities and how they helped not only Catholics but anyone in need of help. I started to regularly go through their Food Pantry to supplement our family’s monthly food needs. Talk about a wonderful place that shows people dignity and respect! We shopped at their Food Pantry for healthy food items our family eats – there were no pre-packaged boxes of food that were handed to us – we had a shopping cart and chose what we needed. Given one of my daughters is gluten-free, this “client-choice” pantry was so important for our family!

When the house we were renting burned down in December due to faulty wiring, the American Red Cross was able to put my kids and me up for three days in a motel. After that I went to Catholic Charities to asked for help. I was hoping to get assistance in finding an apartment to rent in a safe but inexpensive neighborhood. After we left the motel, we often took turns sleeping in our car or on the couches of friends while I was saving up and looking for a permanent place to call home. As temperatures began to fall outside, it was getting too cold to stay in our car at night though.

My Catholic Charities case manager and I called several landlords. We finally found a landlord with a vacant apartment in a safe neighborhood for my family that fit within my budget. The Catholic Charities’ volunteers were also moved by my family’s plight and donated a couple of boxes filled with blankets, towels and other household essentials to make sure we had some necessities for our new home.

I was overwhelmed with everyone’s efforts to help my family. The day we moved in, we came by Catholic Charities to celebrate and our family hugged everyone! We have enrolled in the Family Financial Transformations Program and we’re working on eliminating our spending leaks and focusing on putting money away in savings. We’re grateful for this safe and caring community and we’re hopeful for our family’s future.

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Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas serves the most vulnerable men, women and children of all faiths across 21 counties. We provide innovative programs and solutions that stabilize and strengthen individuals and families to have hope for the future. Follow us to stay up to date.

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