Ria was working at a childcare center but her hours were drastically cut. She and her children came to PEC when, due to a lack of steady income, she fell behind on rent. Ria calculated that she would not be able to catch up on the arrearages while continuing to rent. When meeting with her PEC case manager, Ria began to lay out her goals for the next few years. She realized that she needed to take education and training steps to meet her goal of having a stable income to support her family. She was very interested in a helping career, in childcare or education. Ria decided to start with the Child Development Associate ™ (CDA) accreditation. She completed her CDA at a local university, a big milestone for Ria. PEC observed that she experienced depression and anxiety, and offered to connect her to offsite counseling programs. During the pandemic, it has been more difficult than usual to get new patient intake appointments scheduled. Ria agreed to work with PEC’s onsite behavior health program until other counseling is set up.
The childcare center laid off Ria. Feeling pressure to stay employed at any cost so that she could pay off her rent debt to move to an apartment as soon as possible, she accepted a home health care position, which also was eliminated due to COVID-19. Ria, determined to make progress on the goals she set, asked her case manager to help her to apply to a human services certification program at a community college.
Ria continues to pursue her educational options while she looks for work. Her children are doing well in virtual school and the family has “homework time” before dinner every day. Ria says she knows she can build a better life for her family if she keeps up with counseling and pursuing a new certificate, and that one day she will reach her goals of living on her own again. Ria appreciates the chance to have a safe place to live and raise her children until that day comes.
You can help families like Ria's by supporting our work today.
Mario's Healing Journey
Spring is a season for fresh flowers, and fresh starts. A season for renewal, growth and change. PEC families have embraced the season’s promise.
Many new residents have found the reprieve of PEC’s welcoming and supportive environment. Some families are celebrating a new prospective career or a long-awaited graduation. A few mothers are looking forward to their first Mother’s Day. And for the first time, a few families and youth are moving into their own homes, ready to thrive.
Life-changing success stories such as these, depend on partnerships at the heart of PEC’s work. Partnerships that provide wrap-around, holistic care for every individual. Thanks to a special housing partnership between PEC and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) Homeless Health Initiative, Mario’s family is looking forward to beginning a journey of healing this Spring:
Shortly after two-year-old Mario was born, doctors told his family he would need a life-saving medical procedure. CHOP could provide a level of care that he could not access near his hometown in Puerto Rico. However, to undergo the procedure, Mario’s family would need to move temporarily to Philadelphia. They faced many challenges— potential job-loss, a global pandemic, a limited support network, and a language barrier. A social worker at CHOP recognized the need for special assistance and connected them to PEC because of our complimentary housing partnership for families experiencing barriers in access to quality medical care. After considering a few housing options in the city, Mario and his family selected PEC because of our friendly staff, our wide range of programs, and our warm, welcoming accommodations. While Mario receives the care he needs, his family is provided with shelter and basic needs, complemented by a suite of supportive services to help them cope, so they can focus on what is most important— healing.
As we embrace this season’s promise of renewal, fresh off the heels of one our most challenging years, we look forward with optimism that more families like Mario’s can access the supports they need to overcome barriers to equity and thrive. PEC wants to do more to meet the needs of thousands more families, each facing unique circumstances that prevent employment, access to healthcare, nutrition, education, housing, and so much more. With partners like you, we stand ready to help with any challenge they may face.
- Delivering over 88,000 1-week supplies of groceries to families, youth and elderly residents in need—7x more than in all of last year.
- Partnering with Youth Service, Inc. to provide 600 backpacks with supplies and tech equipment to ensure kids have the support they need to succeed in school whether virtual or face-to-face.
- Loaning 75 computers to shelter residents, youth, and neighbors in need through our digital lending library, along with training to use the devices and adapt to an increasingly digital world successfully and safely.
- Partnering with medical professionals to provide access to critical preventive healthcare for residents and neighbors amid the pandemic.
- Providing 345 teens with shelter, housing resources, and emergency assistance through Youth Service, Inc (YSI).
- Offering respite childcare for 58 children under the age of five at YSI/Baring House.
- Empowering over 1,200 families through YSI parenting education and family empowerment resources.