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.
Are you a current or former One Family program participant? Share your story below!
La Raye’s story is one of triumph and success. Her journey to the One Family Scholars program began back in 2007: La Raye was married, a mother of three, working hard to raise her two boys while also caring for a young daughter who was born premature and faced a series of health complications. It was around this time that she discovered her husband was grappling with addiction. Unfortunately, the family lost everything, and La Raye entered a shelter with her children. This was when she first heard about One Family.
La Raye told her shelter case workers about her education and career goals and the plans she had for herself and her family, but unfortunately she could not afford to go back to college because of her circucmstances. La Raye had been enrolled in college previously but had taken time off to focus on raising her family. Her case workers had encouraged La Raye to apply to the One Family Scholars program to receive both scholarship support and academic/career coaching. Thanks to an encouraging support team, La Raye re-enrolled at Cambridge College to complete her degree in 2016, and in December 2018 joined the One Family Scholars program!
In the program, La Raye really valued the relationships she built with some of the staff and other Scholars in the program - including the close personal relationship she formed with her One Family coach - in addition to the flexible financial support. Reflecting back on her coaching conversations, she recalls:
"[My coach] would always say, 'Raye don’t panic, just breathe, and we’ll make sure everything is set. You are going to do well. We’re not just here to help you with school, we’re here to help with whatever you need to be successful!' I could call him at any time, and he would always answer, and by the time we got off the phone I was feeling better."
This semester, La Raye’s years of hard work will finally pay off as she completes her bachelor’s degree in human services from Cambridge College! With graduation on the horizon, she is already working full-time in her field, in a position where she feels valued, and where she can learn and grow each day. La Raye plans to pursue a master’s degree in counseling psychology in the near future, and use this credential to open her own counseling practice where she can encourage and motivate others to see that mistakes don’t define who they are, and help them build towards their best selves. Her children have an incredible role model in their mother - and her youngest child is beginning college herself this year! The future looks truly bright for La Raye and her family.
My name is Amanda, and I’m a single mom of 4, a small business owner, and a student at Bunker Hill Community College. I joined the Credential to Career program (C2C) because I wanted support to get back into college, but was feeling overwhelmed by the process and worried about how to afford it. My entire adult life has felt like a struggle to support myself. I’ve had to work very hard physical jobs to support my family, and I believed I was capable of achieving more in life. I started my own cleaning company and achieved a lot through that, but it’s still been a very tough road. I was ready to see what else I could accomplish, and get to a place where I felt financially secure.
Being a part of C2C really helped me moved forward. I learned about different types of jobs I might be interested in, how much they pay, and how to enroll and afford college. Before joining the program I had been interested in the field of nutrition, but wasn’t sure if I could make a career out of it. Several years ago I changed my lifestyle to a plant based diet, and it had a huge positive impact in my life, so I wanted a career that would help people and raise awareness about the health benefits of changing your diet. C2C helped me realize a career in health & nutrition was really possible.
But the best part of the program for me was the support from my coaches, Emily and Femi. They cheered me on and told me they believed in me. I always walked away from a conversation with them feeling comforted and more confident. I haven’t really had women like that in my life. It makes a huge impact just knowing they are there for me.
During the program, Emily and Femi helped me apply to Bunker Hill Community College and I was accepted! My first semester there has been really good. I have a great advisor and the teachers seem to really care about the students. I’m very happy I was able to pull off balancing work, school, and home life. My kids are so supportive of me being in college and cheer me on when I pass a test or finish a project. And in December, I was even accepted into the One Family Scholars program, which will help support me as I earn my degree!
When I graduate from college, I see myself in a career in health & nutrition that will really make a difference in people’s lives. I dream of owning a home, being able to take vacations, and feeling financially secure. For my children, I hope that they will go straight into college and avoid the struggles that I’ve faced because I didn’t go sooner. C2C helped make these goals more attainable, and I’m excited to feel like I’m on the right track.
When Daisy first became a One Family Scholar in 2016, she was a single mother pursuing her associate degree while raising her one-year-old daughter, Luna. Determined to give her daughter every opportunity in the world, she knew she would also need a bachelor’s degree to access the best career paths in her chosen field - accounting - but she wasn't sure how she would afford it.
Since then, as a One Family Scholar, Daisy was able to complete her bachelor's degree with a sky-high GPA and enter her dream career path as a staff accountant with a local bank. To learn more about Daisy's journey, we invite you to watch the video interview below:
One Family Scholars alumna Daisy shares her experience in the program, and her amazing accomplishments since then!
A single mom of four kids under four, Anna joined One Family’s Credential to Career Coaching program in fall 2018 hoping to figure out a way to increase her income and build a more secure future for her family. She had been working incredibly hard balancing parenting and part-time work as a Certified Nursing Assistant, but despite this effort her wages simply were not enough to bring her family stability.
During C2C, Anna's One Family coach helped her align her many skills and interests to possible career paths. She is passionate about helping people and giving back to her community, and realized that even though her work as a Certified Nursing Assistant wasn't supporting her
family, there were many other healthcare jobs that could. Through this coaching, within only a few months Anna secured a better paying job without needing to complete any additional credentials!
And Anna didn't stop there. In fact, this fall she was offered a new, full-time position as a Sterile Processing Technician at a hospital, a job that brings with it union membership, benefits, and a great starting salary with growth potential! Since completing C2C, Anna and her children have even moved into a new, more spacious apartment. Thanks to her own determination and One Family's support, the future Anna has built for her family is incredibly bright.
"Thanks for everything you guys have done for me. I won't ever forget it. Everything is falling into place for me!"
Milagros (Millie) is a true supermom. Before joining the One Family Scholars program, Millie had become pregnant with twins at a young age, moved out of her home, and soon after was affected by domestic violence. She then had to make an incredibly hard decision: bravely, she left the relationship, striving to build a better future for her babies.
A new mom without her high school diploma, Millie was determined to complete her education and achieve stability for her family. With an incredible amount of hard work she earned her GED, followed by her associate degree from Bristol Community College. This is when Millie became a One Family Scholar, to get the support she needed to obtain
a bachelor's and pursue a career in social work. Thinking back to the experience, Millie says “I will never forget that call telling me of my acceptance to the program. I cried of happiness because I almost gave up on my education due to costs.”
Today, Millie has officially graduated with her bachelor’s degree in social work as a Dix Scholar at Simmons University – in the middle of a pandemic no less! During her degree, Millie’s accomplishments were myriad, including interning for the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women. And she’s not stopping now. In the fall, Millie will be beginning her master’s in social work, which will launch her into a meaningful career. Her daughters – including her new baby, Sky – have an incredible role model in their mom.
"Thank you One Family for helping and supporting me not only financially but emotionally too. I am who I always wanted to be: free and educated.”
My name is Leannah and I am a 22 year old student-parent at MassBay Community College. I have two children, Lillyanah who is 5 years old, and Leonardo who is almost 2. My children are awesome. They are my whole world, and I cannot wait to own a home for us one day. Owning a home is something that is extremely important to me, because as a teenage mother I was homeless with my daughter, having to bounce in between family members’ homes. We are luckily now living in our own subsidized housing apartment, but I never want my children to be homeless, or go through anything I had to go through.
I decided to join the C2C program because I have always wanted a better future for myself and my children, and college has always been a goal, but I never knew where or how to start. During the program, my coaches were extremely helpful with getting me on the right path to start my goals. They helped me learn about budgeting, how much money we would need to live a comfortable lifestyle, even learning about the difference between for-profit and non-profit colleges. But one of my favorite parts of the program was exploring all the different occupations that are out there. It opened my eyes to so many different things I never knew about, and allowed me to match my skills and interest to different occupations and see which one would suit me best.
Through C2C, I realized I would love to be a business general operations manager. I decided to start pursuing this goal in an associate degree program at MassBay Community College right away. My goal is to transfer after two years, then get a bachelor’s degree at Framingham State University. I am now a full-time student, and working part-time to support my family while I’m in school. My first semester of college just ended, and it has been going excellent so far! I have made sure to keep focused on my future goals. Knowing that all this hard work will bring my kids a brighter future makes everything worth it.
In 5 to 10 years, I see myself graduated from college, well-established in my occupation, and finally owning a home. I am so thankful for One Family. Before I joined their program, I did not know how to apply to college, apply for financial aid, anything. Getting help from my coaches changed everything. It made me realize I can do this, and I will get where I need to be.