Dad Forges New Path for Family’s Future

August 25, 2020

There are times in life when we make mistakes or choose the wrong path. The consequences of our decisions can leave us stuck in a place where it is difficult to reach out, seek help, or overcome challenges on our own. Sometimes, people can lose everything before they recognize that they need help from others. When people find themselves in that place, we want them to know that UMOM is here. It is our goal to meet people where they are, walk beside them on their journey, and provide resources and help every step of the way.

Chaz recognized that he and his family needed help, and they sought support here at UMOM New Day Centers. The moment a family or individual steps into our shelter, we listen. We match programs and services to meet their individual needs to overcome their challenges. One-on-one case management provides encouragement, guidance, and support. By connecting to workforce development specialists and additional resources, Chaz and his family were able to establish a new foundation for their journey toward ending their experience with homelessness.

Right now, there are more than 100 families in our community living in unstable conditions, waiting for safe shelter. Will you consider giving the gift of a place to sleep and hot meals? You can make an impact by providing access to the support and resources needed for a fresh start.

Emergency shelter, supportive services, hot meals, and resources are all available to families, women, and youth experiencing homelessness because of your generous support! You help restore hope and empower individuals in our community to reclaim and rebuild their lives.

Gratefully,

Darlene Newsom

Working Toward a Hopeful Future

UMOM client Chaz is a hard-working and family-oriented man. He was living in Florida with his mom and daughter, Anya, when he noticed that his health was declining. After an unplanned visit to the Emergency Room, he was diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure. Chaz began taking heart medication and making changes to his lifestyle. At the same time, Chaz struggled with spending his paychecks on lottery tickets and scratchers.

Unable to balance maintaining his health, keeping up with his rigorous work schedule, and spending rather than saving his money, Chaz decided to take a job transfer to Arizona. This was an opportunity to start over, move to a new place with job stability at the same company he had been working with for over 10 years. Chaz stayed with his cousin for a few months to save up money for his own place. He finally got his new apartment and brought his daughter out from Florida. Unfortunately, leaving Florida did not mean leaving behind old patterns, although he tried. Chaz became preoccupied with gambling and did not prioritize paying rent, his bills, or for his heart medication. This led to a rapid decline in Chaz’s health and another trip to Urgent Care for Congestive Heart Failure.

After losing his apartment, he stopped gambling and realized he needed professional help for his addiction. His daughter had just graduated from high school, and he was trying to keep everything together. Unfortunately, he had to send his daughter back to Florida where she could live with family members.

Over time, Chaz was able to save up enough money to pay for a month’s worth of rent at a weekly rental for himself, his partner, and her seven-year-old son, visit a cardiologist, and began consistently taking his heart medication again. The high cost of a weekly rental depleted his savings quickly, and Chaz found himself with nowhere to turn once again. For over a year, the family of three found themselves without a home, living in a car, an occasional hotel room, sleeping on his cousin’s sofa. Through all of this, Chaz was able to maintain his job as a valued employee. Eventually they found UMOM’s family emergency shelter.

Once they arrived at UMOM, Chaz, his partner, and her son were able to focus on creating a budget and housing plan. Already employed, Chaz worked on money management and getting back on his feet. Chaz has been attending Gamblers Anonymous meetings where he realized that he was not alone in his struggles. Prior evictions posed a barrier to finding sustainable long-term housing, but with the guidance and support of his case manager, Chaz was able to find an apartment that suited his family’s needs.

Now, Chaz has not gambled in nine months and is moving with his family into their new home. His daughter, Anya, plans on coming back to Arizona to live with her dad as she attends Grand Canyon University. Chaz’s health continues to improve as he focuses on taking care of himself, his family, and his work.