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.
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.
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. Thanks to 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!"
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!
From a young age, Jessica believed in the values of hard work, family, community, and education. The first in her family to go to college, she felt it was her chance to spread her wings and forge an independent path. These plans were upended, however, when during her freshman year she became pregnant with her first child. She remembers feeling terrified, and having trouble connecting the image of herself as a girl dreaming of a better life, and that of herself as a mother.
After the birth of her second child, a boy, Jessica made the tough decision to move back to Boston with her two children to be close
to family. Despite facing enormous housing challenges during this time due to failings in the system, and now being a single mom, she unwaveringly balanced work, parenting, and her associate degree program.
Jessica wanted to someday earn her bachelor’s, as she felt it would lead to better career opportunities and long-term stability, but the costs of college were already weighing heavily on her family. This is when, as a student at Quincy College, she found the One Family Scholars program. She says, “I remember going to the One Family Scholars orientation and being so inspired by the other women in the room, and having a big feeling of hope.” The program provided individualized coaching and scholarship funds, which helped enable Jessica to not only complete her associate degree, but go on to earn her bachelor’s in sociology, graduating from UMass Boston this past August!
Jessica had been working full-time during school to support her family. Now, with her bachelor’s degree in hand, she has been promoted the role of Practice Manager at her job, including increased responsibility and increased income. And this isn’t the end: Jessica hopes to enter a master’s program in public health next year, and is even looking to buy her own home soon! But her true goals, she says, are “to continue working on myself, to be present for my children and to never again be afraid of taking a risk. I will always reach higher!”
Esther is a single mom of three children ages 3, 8, and 9. An immigrant from Brazil, Esther had been using her language skills working as a part-time medical interpreter, but the income she made from this work was far from enough to support her family. This is when Esther joined Credential to Career Coaching (C2C) in search of a more secure career path.
During C2C, Esther told her coach about her knack for math, and they used this as a launch pad to potential careers. After thorough exploration, Esther realized that a career in accounting would not
only capitalize on her skills, but would provide long-term stability for her family. Esther and her C2C coach then worked together to identify affordable and reputable degree programs, and fill out her college applications and her FAFSA for financial aid.
Thanks to this help, Esther has now started her accounting degree at MassBay Community College! With the financial aid she is receiving, Esther will be able to earn her associate degree without taking out any student loans. She then plans to transfer to Framingham State University to complete her bachelor’s degree, which will give her the credentials she needs for long-term stability and growth potential in her field.
"I thought it was impossible to be a single mother and go back to school, but with the support of C2C my dreams are finally coming true."
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. MSW here I come.”