WHAT PARTICIPANTS ARE SAYING

“ECHSA has been very adequate about providing services to me and my family over the past seven years. I really appreciate the services that's been provided.” 

Education Self-Sufficiency

Participant G entered the Community Services Block Grant Program (CSBG) as an unemployed, elderly gentleman with a felony conviction on his criminal record.  Participant G found himself homeless after an unfortunate series of events caused his family home to become foreclosed upon.  Despite the many obstacles facing Participant G, he persevered, and with the assistance of his CSBG case manager, he secured gainful employment which transitioned him from homelessness to residing in a safe and secure home with a friend.  Participant G did not let his age keep him from dreaming either!  With the push, encouragement and financial assistance from the CSBG program, Participant G went on to pursue his Commercial Driver’s License from a program at a community college over 60 miles from his home.  Almost to the finish line, Participant G found himself discharged from school due to not earning enough points to continue in the program.  Participant G, however, was determined that this was not the end for him!  He told his case manager that he was going back even if he had to pay for it himself, and that is just what he did!  Participant G paid for his course directly out of his own pocket, started the course all the way from the beginning, studied harder and completed the course with flying colors!  Participant G now has his Commercial Driver’s License and a truck driving job which he absolutely loves.  He travels over the road as he always dreamed, and his income has remained above the poverty level for well over a year.  It is safe to say that Participant G is a true example of how the Community Services Block Grant Program can assist individuals in reaching their goals against all odds.

Income Increase

When Participant R came into the program on February 14, 2017, he was living off of income that he was making as a part-time driver and his $133 per month disability benefits from being in the military. His income at this time was $5,781.84 per year. After he was enrolled in to the CSBG program he received Job Readiness counseling from his Case Manager. Soon afterwards, he received assistance with updating his resume’ and cover letter. It wasn’t long before Participant R was able to land a permanent job with medical benefits! His income increased tremendously to $27,602.84 and allowed him to successfully rise above the federal poverty income guidelines. He continues to be employed with the same company today.

Overcoming Life Obstacles

On February 22, 2017, Participant M came into the Duplin County ECHSA, Inc. Office for enrollment.  During enrollment Participant M shared with the Case Manager that when she was young she, ran away from home. Participant M stated that she thought she was grown and could make it own her own. Participant M knew she needed a job so she started working for a farmer in the area where she was staying. While at work one day Participant M, unsure of how it all happened, her foot was caught under one of the tractor blades. She lost half her foot, and for all these years has been unable to get and keep a job because of being unable to stand on her foot for long periods of time. Participant M explained that life has always been a struggle for her because of this disability with her foot. Participant M in tears said that one of the most hurtful parts of the situation was that she was not able to get compensated for her injuries because at the time she was a minor, and her parents didn’t fight for her. Participant M has also been unsuccessful with getting approved for disability.  Participant M had a goal when she enrolled in this program to obtain her CNA license and be able to work in that field. Due to her financial struggles this was something she was never able to become a homeowner. Once enrolled in the program Participant M asked if we could help her obtain her goal. Case Manager, with no hesitation, submitted a request. The request was approved and ECHSA, Inc. paid for the CNA class as well as the books that were needed to take the class. Also ECHSA, Inc. assisted Participant M with the purchase of the blood pressure cuff and the stethoscope, which was needed for the clinical portion of the class. At the end of June 2017 Participant M completed her goal; she obtained her Certificate for CNA. Participant M completed her clinical portion of the class at a local rehabilitation center in Kenansville NC. Upon her completion, she was offered a position. Needless to say Participant M accepted the position and is now deemed as one of their best workers. Participant M says that not only is she working, but she is working on a job where the people are considerate of her disability. Case Manager is very proud that Participant M, with the help of ECHSA, Inc., was able to complete one of her major goals.

Hardwork and Dedication

Participant P’s journey to success is one of true grit, determination, and resilience. When I first met Participant P, all the Case Manager (CM) knew of her was she was employed by a Community College as the receptionist. The CM would soon learn there was much more to this woman than a warm smile and kind tone of voice.

​During the initial enrollment first meeting, Participant P had no problem being open with the CM. The hardships she’s endured, overcame, and still face from time to time. Participant P suffered a tremendous loss with the passing of her grandson, this took a huge toll on not only her, but her family as well. In the midst of grieving, her son fell into a deep depression after losing his son; Participant P took him in to her care with no questions asked. Participant P continued to be the glue for her family holding things together as best she could. Eventually, it became too much for her to bear, causing her to lose her main source of income and ultimately her home.

​Participant P quickly made arrangements to stay with a friend until she could find a place to call her own. This arrangement worked well, but was short lived. Participant P got news her friend would be moving and she had to be out of the home by Christmas Day.

Well before and during the time Participant P became homeless she made continuous efforts to find a home and change her situation. During her search, the CM referred Participant P to shelter in Sampson County (Clinton), NC. The shelter serves those affected by homelessness and domestic violence with hopes of assisting these families regain “normalcy” in their lives. Participant P made it part of her daily routine to visit the agency to ensure she would have to move to Sampson County in order to receive any services the shelter provided. The representatives of the shelter and the CM agreed it would be a challenge for Participant P to drive to and from Sampson to Duplin County on a daily basis, this did not slow her efforts at all. Participant P expressed how determined she was to find a home regardless the location by expanding her search to Clinton, NC.

​Using the car she currently lived in as of Christmas Day, Participant P would drive around Duplin and Sampson County in search of a place to live. While Participant P was at work we agreed the CM would call several neighborhoods to inquire about available units and the application process.  The CM would relay this information to Participant P and she would follow up with any complex that sound promising. Not long after getting in contact with the shelter, Participant P found an apartment she felt was a good fit.  The shelter was willing to pay the rent for the first three months, but informed Participant P they felt it was out of her means. The CM called and spoke with the representatives at the shelter to advocate on Participant P behalf. The shelter set up an interview for Participant P to meet with the property manager of the home she was interested in. The property manager shared the same feelings as the representatives from the shelter leaving Participant P in the same boat, homeless.  Participant P felt defeated, but the CM ensured her the CM would not quit and would not let her quit either.​

Participant P and the CM continued to search for homes; The CM searched online while Participant P searched in passing.  It wasn’t long until Participant P found a home she could afford without the help of agency. Once approved, Participant P immediately called to thank me for the help the CM provided along the way.

Participant P is a perfect example of hard work paying off. Her hard work and dedication truly inspired the CM to never give up on any goals or obstacles he have to overcome. Participant P would be a great model for future participants who feel like they have no way out or around the barriers they may face in their lives.

People Helping People

Participant H entered the CSBG/FSS program on September 15, 2015, moving from New Jersey to Wilmington, NC. Participant H is a single mother of two young sons ages 8 and 9 years old. Participant H moved to Wilmington, NC to make a better life and to have better opportunities for her and her sons.  Participant H moved in with a family friend. Participant H living situation was hard for her at that time, but she stated, “It will be temporary.” Participant H had a plan and she had goals that she wanted to accomplish. Participant H enrolled in school at a Technical College in the Electronic Medical Records program. While in school, Participant H maintained good grades and attendance. Participant H now resides in her own apartment with her two sons stating, “There’s no place like home”. Participant H also wanted to give back to the community, so she and 10 other women got together to form an organization. The organization is reaching out to other women by empowering them by instilling Godly principles with the power of love that will give them courage and strength. One great factor is Participant H graduated from college on April 5, 2017, with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Electronic Medical Records.

Self-Sufficient

The CM chose to do her success story on Participant K. Participant K enrolled in CSBG on February 26, 2016. She has been in the program for a year and has made great strides. Participant K came to us living in a transitional housing facility. She did a few years in prison and has felony charges. She has not been able to find a job or a place to live. It seemed like her criminal background always got in the way. She never gave up hope and continued to look for a job. She is also in school and will get her degree in 2018. Participant K is a straight “A” student and has received various awards. Participant K attend classes and treatment at a rehab facility, which is where she got her start. She had been so discouraged because we could not find her a place to live. Participant K has since found a place to live and got a job. More importantly she has maintained her sobriety and continues to go to her meetings. Participant K has increased her income above the federal poverty guidelines. She has purchased a new car and pays child support to take care of her children. Participant K is a Peer Specialist at the rehab facility where she continues to do a great job. The agency has assisted her with uniforms and gas cards for work and school. Her case manager continues to support and encourage her to do her very best to successfully complete this program and become self-sufficient.

Making a Better Life

On 12/19/16, Participant P met with her Case Manager (CM) to be enrolled in the CSBG Family Self-Sufficient Program. Participant P explained that she had a family of 3 and was recently terminated from her job in October. At the time of enrollment, Participant P was receiving unemployment benefits and main focus was to efficiently provide for her family, and obtain standard housing. Months went by and Participant P became comfortable speaking with the CM about domestic abuse, a recent divorce, and no financial assistance from the children’s father which contributed to her income being below Federal Poverty Guidelines.

During multiple office visits, the CM offered Participant P employment and housing support and finally on 1/18/17 she was able to move into her own permanent home with her children. On 4/13/17 Participant P was hired as a medical assistant at a nearby medical office given the necessary hours to significantly increase her monthly household income. Finally, after over a year being in the CSBG Family Self-Sufficient Program, Participant P income rose above the Federal Poverty Guideline levels on 4/28/17. The CM tracked all income received for a 90 day period and on 7/27/17 confirmed that Participant P had maintained her income above poverty levels for over 90 days and she successfully completed her goal.

As of now, Participant P is currently in the program and working on completing small goals before she is confident enough to say she is self-sufficient. Participant P is currently working and living in a nice home with her children. Participant P’s story is the overall goal of the CM’s work at ECHSA, Inc., which is to be to the assistance of a family living below poverty guidelines and eventually see them strive to meet goals that will ultimately increase their income to rise above poverty levels with the self-sufficiency to maintain it.

Achieving All Life Goals

Upon enrolling into the Community Services Block Grant Family Self Sufficiency (CSBG/FSS) Program on September 23, 2015, Participant E was only receiving direct support.  At the time, the single mother of three was only receiving about $550.00 a month in direct support and struggling to make ends meet.  Her goals upon entering the program were to pay her bills on time, obtain and maintain transportation, obtain her Associate's Degree in Medical Office Administration, and increase her household income.

 

Participant E has been an active participant in the program for almost two years now.  During this time, she has not only completed all the goals she initially set for herself but went beyond these goals as well.  With the help of the CSBG program's services and supports, Participant E has gained employment, gained employment with medical benefits, gained better employment, obtained transportation, obtained standard housing, and obtained her Associate's Degree in Medical Office Administration.  Through hard work and determination, Participant E has went from receiving $6,620.00 to earning $16,231.57 a year.   

 

Participant E is the embodiment of the values and the mission of the CSBG program which is, to improve the lives of low income, veteran, and military families by empowering them to become economically and socially self-sufficient.  She has demonstrated tenacity and determination as she has consistently set targets for herself and persevered through every obstacle to reach them.

Proactive Partnership

Hard Work, Perseverance, and a Proactive Partnership

 

This definition best describes Participant X’s progress while participating in the CSBG Family Self-Sufficiency Program. When she enrolled in the CSBG Program, she was an unemployed single person living with friends. During the enrollment, the CSBG Case Manager used the ROMA Scales and Self-Sufficiency Plan in order to develop an effective Action Plan. Through the development of her Action Plan, the Case Manager and Participant X were able to identify the issues that were keeping her from becoming self-sufficient. Among the barriers identified were the lack of transportation, employment, and the lack of an adequate education.

 

One of the numerous activities that were employed by the CSBG Case Manager, as Participant X made efforts to deal with her lack of transportation was referring her to a car auction. She was referred to a mechanic who accompanied her at the auction where she found a reliable car within her budget.  As a result of this activity, Participant X was able to achieve her goal of obtaining reliable transportation. With reliable transportation she was now able to conduct more job searches and go back and forth the school. Through the CSBG Program she received assistance with the cost of gasoline and minor car repairs.

 

Another barrier that was preventing Participant X from becoming self-sufficient was her lack of employment. The Case Manager and Participant X worked on pre-employment related activities such as; developing a resume, conducting job searches through the employment agency, and engaging in  mock job interviews. As a result of their combined efforts, Participant X was able to obtain full-time employment.

 

The final barrier that was hindering Participant X from becoming self-sufficient was the lack of an adequate education. Through the CSBG Family Self-Sufficiency Program she received financial assistance with the cost of classes and supplies, when her financial aid was exhausted. Through the CSBG Program she also received assistance with the cost of the professional exam in her career field.  However, after obtaining full-time employment and obtaining her degree, Participant X became discouraged since she was not working in her field of study.  The CSBG Case Manager then advised Participant X to consider utilizing her skills in the armed forces. As a result, Participant X joined the US Air Force Reserves through which she received multiple certifications for specialized training. Most importantly Participant X was able to obtain employment that raised her income of above the poverty guidelines for her household.

 

Through hard work, perseverance, and a proactive partnership with the CSBG Family Self-Sufficiency Program, Participant X was able to attain success and reach all of her goals.

Housing Stability

Upon enrolling into the CSBG Program on March 1, 2016, Participant W was facing homelessness. The home that she was residing in was once owned by her deceased mother, but was in foreclosure and without any utilities. She was without employment and without a means of income besides her savings. Despite having no close living relatives, she persevered through these difficult circumstances with the positive supports she had in her life. Her friends were instrumental to her success as they would frequently let her stay at their home and offered her their transportation for her to commute back and forth to school.

In spite of her hardships, Participant W still managed to stay on top of her studies as a Medical Administrative Assistant (MAA) at a local community college. With the help of the CSBG Program, she was able to pay for the national exam for her MAA certification, which she successfully passed! Since the foreclosure of her mother's home, Participant W has found temporary residence with her friends until she has saved enough money to maintain her own household. With the employment supports she received as an active Participant in the CSBG Program, Participant W obtained employment and now has an annual income of $13,700/year, successfully moving her above the Federal Poverty Guideline! Participant W is the true manifestation of determination and tenacity, and is well on her way to successfully becoming self-sufficient!

Overcomer

Participant C, a single mother of a seven year old, was enrolled into the Community Services Block Grant Family Self Sufficiency (CSBG FSS) program in 2014.  Upon enrollment, her income consisted of wages from her job and Social Security for her son.  At the time, she was earning $7.85 an hour and struggling to make ends meet.  Participant C had recently experienced a loss as her fiancé, and son's father, who passed away the year prior from a heart attack.  She was now facing homelessness as the place that she shared with her fiancé was too expensive for her afford due to the loss of income.  Her goals upon entering the program were to gain better employment, obtain affordable housing, and obtain her Certification as a Medical Clinical Assistant.

 

Participant C has been an active Participant in the CSBG program for almost two years.  During this time, she has not only completed the goals she initially set for herself, but went above and beyond these goals.  Participant C has gained employment, gained employment with medical benefits, gained better employment, and she has risen above the poverty guideline by not only obtaining a job that would increase her income, but maintaining the job as well.  She also eliminated the risk of homelessness and managed to maintain the household she once could not afford.  Through hard work and determination, Participant C has gone from earning $7.85 to $11.00 an hour which increased her annual income by more than $9,000.00.  In addition, she has increased her savings by $9,000.00 as well. 

 

Participant C is the embodiment of the values and the mission of the CSBG program which is, to improve the lives of low income families  by empowering them to become economically and socially self-sufficient.  Participant C is the true definition of an "over-comer" as she persevered through every obstacle she has faced on her road to becoming self sufficient and successfully completing the CSBG program.

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