Making Up For Lost Time: Maria's Story

July 5, 2023

MARIA IS WORKING HARD to catch up. The mother of 3 has been picking up food from MEND for 14 years. A little while ago she found her attention drawn to MEND's Here We Thrive services. She needed help but didn't know where to start.

Then one day she stepped through the doors and asked to speak to someone. She had a long list of needs. She needed an ID, help with clearing a traffic ticket, a job…. and much more. Maria is vulnerable and shy, with a sweet attitude. But she is also incredibly determined.

She’s had to be. She has survived domestic violence, a period of homelessness, and a long battle with life. She carries worry and fear with her everywhere she goes.

We carefully assessed Maria’s needs and helped her lay out a plan. Understandably she wanted to tackle everything all at once, but we
knew she’d have greater success focusing on one thing at a time. Getting an ID was a priority, so we helped her fill out the forms and get an appointment. Maria followed through and received her ID.

Next, she enrolled in employment services, showing up every chance she could to apply for jobs. She was excited and anxious at the same time. Most of all, she was nervous to talk to employers. We gently coached her on how to interview, and when she was invited to two interviews in succession, she got the job!

Recently, we checked in on Maria to see how she was doing. After she shared the bad news – someone stole her car 3 months prior – she happily informed us she still loves her job and was recently offered full-time hours!

Maria is a good example of why the Here We Thrive resource center is vital for our community. We have a saying at MEND that a successful client is one who never needs MEND’s crisis services again. The people you’re helping have the same goal. Many are struggling with multiple challenges. And in many cases, such as with Maria, the issues have stacked up over time and appear insurmountable. Now there’s a trusted place where they can get help. Thank you for helping people like Maria take a step towards thriving.