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“When I had my daughter, she had to have open heart surgery. When she came home from the hospital, she needed a lot of care, so I couldn’t work anymore. I was living in a house here in Palm Bay—a four-bedroom house—and the owners told me in less than 45 days, they would be taking the house back because they needed it. They weren’t going to renew our lease, so I had to look for a place.

I was looking all the way up until the time of us moving and still hadn’t found a place. We had to move into a hotel, and it was pretty expensive. It was taking everything I had. I was looking all the time we were in the hotel, and the kids were getting out of the school for the summer. We were having to stay with different people. We were having to pay for different hotels. We were just down on our luck because it was so hard to find a place. Nothing was opening up. We called around and got in touch with Catholic Charities, and they were able to help us pay for the funding to get into our place. It was just a blessing to our family.

I found a place and got in contact with Ms. Jennifer. We received rental assistance—which was move-in costs, the deposit and first month’s rent, and our light bill deposit. They helped us with food when we didn’t have anything to eat. Once everything got approved and we knew what rent was, Ms. Emma drove all the way from Orlando. She personally brought the check to the leasing office before they closed, so we wouldn’t lose the place. She didn’t let that happen. She drove all the way through traffic and was able to get that done for us, and for that, we are very grateful. We have a secure roof over our head now. We’re not sleeping in our van. We’re not having to inconvenience family and friends just to have a place to stay. Everything is working, and it’s a blessing.”

Courtney and her family were living out of her car, in hotels, and with family and friends until the Family Stability Program—including Program Director Emma and Case Manager Jennifer—came to their assistance.