It can happen to anyone. One day you are working at a good job, living life and raising your child, and the next moment everything you have worked for is in jeopardy. Margo and Demetrius had been high school sweethearts. They had just begun building their lives and a home together; working hard and saving what they could. Soon, little Meko was born and things were pretty typical; just your standard American working family. Like most of us, they didn’t put much thought into the “what ifs” in life. Every day just blended into the next. That is, until Margo got sick.
No one asks to get sick, it just happens. Margo suffered a stroke and was subsequently diagnosed with a serious heart condition. She was hospitalized for several months. Demetrius tried to keep up while Margo was in the hospital, but it was too much. He had missed too much work taking care of his young son and ailing wife, and was let go from his job. Margo was also released, as she was in no condition to work. The two were left with a pile of medical bills and nothing else. They lost everything: their apartment, their savings, and their livelihood. They were reduced to living in their car. All they had left was each other … and a little bit of hope.
Hope was what brought this family to the doors of Community Action Agency of Greater Kansas City. They needed help and were committed to getting back the life they had lost. We immediately began to work with them to secure safe and decent housing. We worked with them on their budget, went over a debt reduction plan, and showed them how to rebuild their savings. We worked with Demetrius to sculpt his resume and polish his interview skills. It was not an easy path to follow. They had to sacrifice. But the end goal was worth the price. With their drive to change their situation and our supportive services and caring staff, this family was lifted from poverty.
Today, Demetrius has a good, secure position at Ford Motor Company and Margo works as a private duty nurse. They have re-established their credit and built up their savings enough to purchase their very first home. It is a dream come true for this courageous family and a far cry from being homeless and hungry. And the best part is that little Meko is happy and healthy, living with his mom and dad, and is looking forward to having a bedroom of his very own.