Friday, January 12, 2018

We learn from those we serve

She works one full-time job and two part-time jobs to provide for herself and put her daughter through medical school. Three jobs.

Then the bottom fell out. She was laid off from the full-time job, had to have emergency eye surgery which left her temporarily blind in both eyes, and had to evacuate due to Hurricane Harvey. So at a time when she lost her main source of income, she had two catastrophes occur that brought in unexpected expenses.

She already had a good lead on a new job and expected to be hired soon, but she needed help in paying her rent to avoid eviction. It wouldn't make sense for someone this hard-working to find herself (and her medical-school daughter) living on the streets, so naturally CCSC made the easy decision to help with her rent. We offered other services as well, which she politely declined.

Here's what touched me most in the story. The person who met with her hand-wrote this on her case notes: Client was intentional about remembering 2017 as a turbulent year, but not a bad year. She said there were bumps in the road, but also opportunities for growth. She was grounded, faithful, and appreciative.

I'm thinking these might be my goals for 2018: to be "grounded, faithful, and appreciative."

Friday, January 5, 2018

In the days before Christmas

We helped a family fleeing a violent situation by paying their rent, providing Christmas toys for the three children, and connecting the mother to additional resources. They were not only victims of domestic violence, but also victims of Harvey: their car flooded out and was totaled, and the mother lost several days of wages during the storm.

We helped a special needs pediatric nurse whose car also flooded due to Harvey. It was fixable so she spent her rent money to repair the car, but was then unable to pay her apartment rent. Her landlord waived the late fees because she is such a good tenant.

We helped a former teacher who suffered from PTSD and had recently returned to the workforce. She was able to stay in her home due to CCSC's investment in her life.

We celebrated 5 clients who found jobs in healthcare, manufacturing, retail, and sales. They are now starting 2018 with stability instead of uncertainty.

Truthfully, we all start the year with uncertainty because we don't know what the year holds. Living into the unknown requires faith that God will give us what we need for each moment. I have found what God often gives me is the right people in the right moments, and for many vulnerable Houstonians, the right people are CCSC volunteers: listening to deeply personal stories, determining how to best help in that moment, and being God's provision for another.

May 2018 bring an abundance of goodness into your life, while also giving you the opportunity to be His provision for someone else.