From Addiction To Elation

Number of Children... 3

Ended Homelessness... November 2015

After struggling with domestic abuse, addiction, and homelessness, Gloria—a single mother of three—has overcome traumatic obstacles and is building a better life for herself and her family. 

Before ending her relationship with the abusive, now incarcerated father of her children, Gloria turned to drugs and alcohol to cope with the pain. After leaving her abuser, Gloria's financial struggles left her and her three small children homelessness. "Doubled up" with family members and sleeping in motels, the family suffered with instability, lack of privacy, and stress.

Determined to uplift her family, Gloria enrolled in SparkPoint, Orange County United Way's one-stop financial empowerment center offering coaching and resources. Her specific program targeted income management and credit score improvement. A partner agency of Project Hope Alliance, SparkPoint referred Gloria to our services—and we are grateful that they did.

Chrissie, our amazing Family Stability Case Manager, met with the family to listen to their needs and develop an effective, actionable plan. 

Through our Family Stability Program and the family's hard work, we were able to rapidly rehouse them in November 2015—just in time for the holidays. Our generous donors united to help furnish their home. Says Chrissie of the family:

The family is very engaged in the program, and we have seen so much growth in them.
Gloria is a very hands-on mom who wants the best for her children.

All three children enrolled in our educational programming, which includes mentoring services through Big Brothers Big Sisters and tutoring services through UCI's School on Wheels, a partner organization that pairs each child with a dedicated volunteer tutor who works one-on-one with the young learner every week. The goal is to shrink academic gaps and provide the highest level of educational support possible.

Together, the family worked on healing emotionally by participating in an Art4Healing workshop, a therapeutic youth program designed to promote creative expression in a stress-free environment. They have also engaged in numerous other experiences, including Shakespeare In The Park, Financial Empowerment Fair, and a special School on Wheels event, after which Gloria penned Chrissie a very sweet thank you note:

Good morning Chrissie,
I want to start by thanking you for the opportunity you gave me and my family to attend this event. It was a great experience, and the kids had tons of fun. There were raffles, gifts, food—everything was enjoyable. We received some great information about college that I can definitely pass on to my sisters and use for my kids. Thank you again!

Gloria has lived a clean and sober life for three years now, and she continues to meet with a therapist to process her past challenges and forge ahead on a bright path. Graduating from the SparkPoint program has boosted her self-confidence and self-sufficiency, helping her become more financially responsible and increase her income. Recently, she gained another part-time job to help her family be more financially stable.

We remain committed to walking alongside this hardworking family on their journey, offering guidance and support every step of the way.