"About five years ago, Antonio and I were separated, and I moved to Bowling Green. We were always fighting because it didn’t seem like there was enough money to get through the month. We had no idea how to manage our finances, and we were extremely stressed. I came to Hope House for a food box and ended up getting a lifetime of change.
I learned about Faith & Finances through my Advocacy appointment. While I was in the class, I thought we were going to be late paying our light bill. Antonio was working at a restaurant and got paid daily, so we didn’t know if we’d be able to pay the bill with what he earned over the weekend. The staff at Hope House told me to come in on Monday if we couldn’t pay it, but we ended up having enough. I came to the office on Monday and ran down the hall saying, ‘I paid my light bill!’ I remember that being a real turning point for us.
Since then, we bought a house and some land, we’ve never been behind on a bill payment, and we went off of food stamps. Antonio even got his green card and work permit. We prayed for our daughter for 18 years, and after two miscarriages and one stillborn child, Olivia was born 15 months ago. God has completely restored our marriage, and we couldn’t be more blessed with our child."
Antonio: "Erica told me about the classes at Hope House, so I took Jobs for Life. I learned how to do an interview and make a resume. After the class, I took my resume to Indian Hills Country Club, and they offered me a job to help with the irrigation system. I’ve been there for four years, and now I’m a groundskeeper."
Erica: "I learned that I had always quit everything else, but I made it through Faith & Finances and had more confidence in who I wanted to become. I even started working at the Community Store and graduated Jobs for Life. It feels good to be able to pay our bills and be responsible. We give all glory to God. He led us to this place, and we just kind of fell in and did what was necessary."
"I was in an abusive relationship for over seven years until he kicked me out of our house. For four months before there was room for me to stay at The Salvation Army, I lived in a car. It was the winter, so I would sit in grocery stores just to get warm.
When a bed opened for me to stay at the shelter, I gave the car back to my ex and was left with just the clothes on my back. There are a lot of women who have been in abusive relationships and believe it’s their fault, but finally, at 52 years old, I decided I was done.
I spent ten months at The Salvation Army, so I was homeless for over a year. In October 2017, I got a job and learned about Faith & Finances at Hope House. I would work 14 hours some nights, but I was still at Hope House for every class.
I gained so much independence through Faith & Finances and learned that I could provide for myself. I have more responsibility because it’s my paycheck, my checking account, my savings, and I keep up with everything. Even though I don’t have furniture yet, I have my own apartment, and it means the world to me to have a safe place with my own key.
I’m just glad I am where I am today. I’ve really grown through all of this, and I have a whole different outlook on life. I thank God every night before I go to bed… well, morning because I work third shift… for another day with a job and a home."