The foundation of One Family's work preventing family homelessness is direct service. We have two direct-service programs - Credential to Career Coaching (C2C) and One Family Scholars (OFS) - both of which help families experiencing or at risk of homelessness increase their income and achieve long-term stability. Scroll down to learn about how these programs impact families' lives.
A single mom of two teenagers, Roxanna was having trouble finding adequate employment. Her part-time job with an office supply company did not provide the wages she needed to support her family, and while she already had a bachelor's degree from Puerto Rico, as well as an MBA, she was still feeling stuck. This is when she came to C2C.
During C2C, Roxanna told her One Family coach about her interests in the fields of finance and technology. Together, they curated multiple versions of her resume and cover letter, tailoring
them to specific jobs in those fields. The plan was to increase Roxanna's income as soon as possible, enabling her to complete her English as a Second Language (ESL) courses with reduced financial pressure, then use her improved English fluency as a springboard to new career opportunities - and the plan worked perfectly.
Within a month of completing C2C, Roxanna had increased her wages by 25%, putting her in a more stable financial position to complete her ESL classes. And today, equipped with newfound confidence in English and in the job market, Roxanna has secured full-time employment as a Senior Sales and Service Representative with a credit union! She is excited not only about the opportunity to work in finance, but the growth potential she sees on her new career path. Furthermore, Roxanna and her children were able to move into a new, more spacious apartment.
An inspiring success story, Roxanna has even started giving back. As a member of One Family's Advocacy Team, she has attended meetings at the Massachusetts State House to discuss the state of family homelessness and other policy issues with state representatives, impacting the future for other families in our Commonwealth.
A single mom raising two daughters, Diana was struggling to make ends meet. Her days were full working two jobs—as a Personal Care Assistant and a Certified Nursing Assistant—but combined these wages were barely enough to keep a roof overhead, and she had to work huge amounts of overtime. Determined to finally earn her nursing degree, increase her income, and build a more stable future for her children, Diana joined the One Family Scholars program in 2016.
A highly-motivated student, Diana had strong grades in almost every class, but failed Anatomy and Physiology (a prerequisite for
the nursing program) twice. Refusing to give up on her goals, Diana and her One Family coach implemented weekly check-ins to help establish a study schedule that made sense for someone working, studying, and raising children at the same time. Through this intervention, she was finally able to pass the course! Diana went on to graduate from Springfield Technical Community College with a stellar GPA in the spring of 2018.
While she had originally planned on a career as a nurse, talking with her One Family coach helped Diana realize that her interests were better aligned with a managerial role. She wanted not only to affect individual lives, but to make systems-level changes, especially in the area of staffing diversity and inclusion. Already equipped with a relevant associate degree and healthcare knowledge, she was then able to enroll as a One Family Scholar again at Elms College where she is now in her final year of a BA in healthcare administration! And she’s not stopping there. Diana hopes to earn a master’s in healthcare administration as well, opening the door to leadership roles in the field where she can make vast changes and broad impact.
Thanks to One Family’s guidance and support, coupled with her own hard work and determination, the future now holds stability and bright possibilities for Diana and her daughters!
When Takeiya joined Credential to Career Coaching, she already had an associate degree. However, after her marriage split up, she suddenly became a single mom who needed a job to support her two children. But no matter what she tried, she just couldn't find employment. This is when Takeiya joined Credential to Career Coaching (C2C).
Working with her One Family coach, Takeiya identified her existing skills and interests, including retail experience and interests in both
healthcare and fashion. Together, she and her coach identified a variety of fields and positions that paid the wages Takeiya needed to house and support her family. Next, she worked with her coach to revise her resume, and began to apply for jobs that were better suited to her experiences and skills.
A mere eight weeks into C2C, Takeiya had already secured nine interviews and three job offers. After deliberating with her coach, she eventually accepted a position as an apprentice optician. This career combines her interests in health care (assisting with eye exams) and fashion (choosing the best glasses for each client). Most importantly, the position had a starting salary of over $37,000 - wages that would bring the stability she needed.
Since then, Takieya has already seen her salary increase, and has moved into a position with even better benefits! And this is just the beginning. She has come such a long way from unemployment to financial security in a career she loves, and the future looks truly bright for her family.
"I can't even explain my excitement. Getting twelve job interviews . . .
I couldn't contain myself!"
Jennessa always loved learning and had a passion for math. She graduated from high school at the top of her class, despite being one of the first in her family to even graduate from high school. She was preparing for the same success in college when, at age 19, she learned she was pregnant. Jennessa felt a college dorm was no place to raise a baby, and knew she would have to work to take care of her daughter, Nyemah.
Unfortunately Nyemah’s earliest years were filled with illness, and without the support she needed, Jennessa lost her job and they lost their apartment. They began to couch-surf, staying with
members of Jennessa’s family. As she describes it, “Some nights were a guessing game. Sometimes I didn’t have enough gas to drive to the house we were sleeping at that night. I had to put all of our things in storage.”
Facing these incredible obstacles, Jennessa never gave up on her dream of earning a degree and providing a better future for her daughter. Once she became a One Family Scholar, things finally began to turn around. With One Family's coaching, coupled with her own dedication, Jennessa was finally able to earn her bachelor's degree, and to realize her dream of becoming a teacher! Today she has a career she loves and a home she owns, and, this spring, even graduated from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education. Nyemah has an incredible role model in her mom.
"Our family is forever grateful for One Family and all that it has done for us."