A COTS Journey
24 year old Lanie* came to COTS in late December, 2014, with her son and daughter, ages eight and five. Blessed with a home for her and her children, Lanie still struggled financially; with basic expenses outweighing her meager income.
A day in her life: Lanie has no car and she has to work the afternoon shift at her job. She takes her children by bus to her mother's home where they will have dinner and then spend the night while she is as work. She then walks three miles to her job. After work, she takes the bus to the shelter for a few hours of rest before rising again to take the bus back to her mother's home to get her children ready for school. After seeing them off to school, she returns to the shelter for a few more hours of rest. She then takes the bus back to the school where she must remove the kids an hour early to so they can all take the bus and walk back to her mother's home. Lanie then gets her children settled and leaves to make it to work on time. Then, the cycle starts all over again.
Struggling with being underemployed and unable to obtain a better job, Lanie found herself in extreme debt and unable to pay all of her bills and as a result, her utilities were shut off. Unable to reside in their home without heat and electricity in the midst of brutal winter temperatures, Lanie and her children arrived at COTS.
Lanie's situation is not unusual. Issues such as this are all too commonplace within the low-income population. Parents, like Lanie, find themselves weary and worn in trying to ensure their family's survival.
Since her arrival, Lanie began working with a Passport to Self-Sufficiency Mobility Coach to develop a better plan of action.
As a result, Lanie has established goals for paying down her debt, finding new employment, and re-establishing housing for herself and her children.
* This story is a true testimonial of a family served by COTS. Names and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of the family.