Paving a Path to Economic Security
Sarah and Matthew’s busy young family live in South Austin. While the kids, two boys and a girl ages 6-9, dream of a backyard, Sarah and Matthew dream of college or technical training for their children and the economic security they hope comes with it. Like many working families, Sarah and Matthew felt they were doing well—she is a nurse and he’s with UPS—even though rent for their duplex kept creeping up.
When their third child was born with serious medical conditions requiring many doctor appointments, therapies and surgeries, Sarah stayed home and they dipped into savings. When their rent increased by $200 a month, bills began piling up. Their lowest point was when the family was homeless—Sarah and the children had to move in with her parents and Matthew moved back home to his.
For years, the couple got their income tax forms prepared at Foundation Communities, a nonprofit that offers a continuum of economic and housing services. But they had never thought they’d need the organization’s affordable housing. During the family’s most difficult period, however, they qualified for the nonprofit’s deepest wrap-around services.
Now Sarah works at the UT student health center and their youngest is doing well. The kids attend a free after-school program provided by Foundation Communities which means both parents can both work full-time. The kids get help with homework and plenty of play time outside. Sarah also takes Zumba and nutrition classes offered there. On their tight budget, the family could never afford to pay for quality after-school care for three—not to mention adult classes.