Cheryl is a single mother, loving sister and hard-working employee with a stable job. She never imagined that she would be facing the trials of homelessness. But, as is so common among those whom Reston Interfaith serves, Cheryl encountered serious adversity and her life began to unravel.
When Cheryl’s beloved mother passed away, she was forced to make the decision of taking responsibility for her troubled and mentally unstable younger half-sister or leaving her displaced with no resources. In addition, Cheryl’s son needed more attention to address behavioral challenges. Cheryl opened her home to her sister, but she abused the help and misused Cheryl’s financial information, which led to mounting debt and an eviction threat. Eventually the threat became a reality and Cheryl was left without a home for herself and her children. Cheryl and her family entered into Reston Interfaith’s transitional housing program. With help from case management, she began to make the needed adjustments to change her situation. She started paying off debts and enrolled in programs and classes to give her the tools to be self-sufficient. She participated in the Partnership for Permanent Housing program, enrolled in the Virginia Housing Development Authority First-Time Homebuyers class, and regained a stable home for her children.
Cheryl always put her children first and, with strong resolve, utilized the help offered by Reston Interfaith and its collaborative partners to regain her independence, stability and dignity. She is a fine example of the benefits of supportive programs, intensive counseling and wrap around services. Through it all, Cheryl paid off over $9,000 in debts, fully funded a Virginia Individual Development Account, grew her savings to $1,300, improved her credit score by 125 points, wrote a contract to purchase her own home, and most of all continued to give her children structure and guidance.