After living in a hotel for almost 2 years and making a leap to move into a rental house, bills began adding up for Chaka and expenses mounted with an unexpected pregnancy. Complications with the pregnancy forced Chaka out of work.
LifeLine stepped in to help with expenses and help Chaka move into a more affordable rental property. Chaka's living situation is now stable and her children have all of the opportunity to realize their dreams because of the foundation that LifeLine was able to help Chaka solidify.
In November of 2018, we received a "walk-in" client in need of assistance. Mike was 45 and a single parent of a 6 year old named Brandon that had only been living with him since January. They had just moved to Grand Prairie from Arizona. Earlier that year, Mike learned he had a son and was asked by the mother to take him. Unfortunately the mother was about to be incarcerated for 5 years on multiple drug use and the sale of narcotics charges. Mike decided to take custody of Brandon and file for permanent custody. After several months, he gained permanent custody of Brandon. Shortly thereafter, Mike lost his job due to downsizing and was unable to find work in the area. In October, they moved to Grand Prairie to live with Mike's mother.
During that same month, Mike's mother passed away and they were about to be faced with eviction. Mike had not found permanent employment enough to maintain the monthly rent so they evacuated the apartment at the end of October. Mike was working "day" jobs here and there, enough to keep gas in the car and food for the two of them, while Brandon was in school during the day. They were living in the car mostly, but sometimes had enough cash to afford a motel. Mike learned about LifeLine Shelter through an Internet search while at the local library. He drove over in hopes that we might help him.
Unfortunately, he was not eligible for the program as of yet. The child had to be enrolled in GPISD for 9 weeks in order to enter the program. He was 4 weeks from being eligible, and more disturbing, it was the Christmas season. We knew we had to help them in one way or another. At that time, Mike was working for a local church as a "day" handyman a couple of days a week. We spoke with the pastor and appealed to him to possibly put Mike and Brandon up for a week at Howard Johnsons. He agreed. We had three weeks to go. I appealed to my Rotary Club, and the club decided to fund them for another week of motel housing. I then consulted a local charitable organization, Divas and Diamonds of Grand Prairie, to fund another week. We only had one more week to go. I contacted Grand Prairie United Charities to request a final week of motel assistance, but she said she was out of motel funding. A few minutes later, she called back and said that she contacted one of her funders that would pay for the final week of motel assistance. With the help of other local agencies and a church, Mike and Brandon were sheltered until LifeLine was able to help them get into an apartment of their own.
LifeLine worked with other agencies to provide Christmas gifts for both of the and an anonymous donor provided a hot, home-cooked Christmas dinner for them as well.
LifeLine helped Mike find sustainable work and they have been doing well ever since. Brandon continues to do well in school and enjoys t-ball and soccer. Ever so often, Mike comes by the office to say thank you and give us an update. They will be fine!
Several months ago Mary received a call that would change her life forever. A police officer informed Mary that her husband had been killed in a car accident. Mary’s husband had been the family’s primary provider for years and she realized that her and her family’s life was about to change in an unimaginable way. Mary was lost financially, as well as emotionally. With no work history for the last 10 years, no high school diploma, and two young children to take care of, Mary was in for the journey of her life. She and her seven year old daughter and two year old son moved from Archer City, Texas to Grand Prairie for a fresh start. When they arrived in Grand Prairie Mary spent a good portion of her time searching for a job. She found work as a waitress at a local restaurant making $2.15 an hour plus tips. Although Mary was grateful for the job, she knew it was a start and had to keep looking for more work to support her family. Mary and her small children lived in homeless shelters, as well as her car. She was trying to save enough money for an apartment. One morning while at school, her oldest child was sent to a counselor for a visit. The child told the counselor where they had been sleeping and how difficult it had been since her daddy passed away. The counselor immediately contacted Mary and they were sent to LifeLine for Families for emergency assistance. LifeLine was able to place Mary and her family in a motel, so they could get out of the elements.
LifeLine immediately began helping Mary search for an apartment, and with the assistance of LifeLine, Mary and her children were in an apartment within six weeks. LifeLine also helped Mary get ready for job interviews. Within a few short weeks, she was working a customer service desk at a retail store within walking distance of her new apartment.
Lifeline helped Mary through some very desperate times. She now has her GED and makes $13.50 per hour. Mary has been able to improve her and her children’s life through various means. For the first time in a very long time, Mary can breathe again.
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