Levi’s Moment

“Shocked” was the emotion Levi used to describe how he felt after reading the notice sent out by his health insurance provider. There had been some kind of error with his premium calculations, so he would have a temporary spike in his monthly premium costs to correct the issue—to the tune of over $500 each month, for three consecutive months. “It felt so unfair–we’re getting penalized for someone else’s mistake.”

rentProviding for a family of six requires nearly flawless budgeting skills, even with both parents working full-time. Luckily, before the onset of this new higher bill, Levi’s family was current with all their payments, but there was nothing left over each month to save for an emergency—and now, with an extra $500 added to the monthly budget, the family knew they’d inevitably fall behind on something, and he was worried that it would be their rent.

Like many of us, Levi was not fond of asking for help, and didn’t even know where to start; but the fact was that if he didn’t, their large family could soon be homeless. Levi was proactive: he worked over the family budget to cut expenses, spoke with their landlord, who graciously agreed to a payment arrangement with them, but at the end of the day, their income still wouldn’t stretch far enough to cover everything.

That’s when Levi got connected to Bridges of Hope. Levi knew he couldn’t afford to hesitate, and called Bridges for what he thought would just be possible help with rent. After doing an intake, one of our Resource Specialists referred him to several resources that the family qualified for; including Energy Assistance, which would in turn free up money that the family could use to pay their rent.

After making sure all of the existing community resources were exhausted, Bridges was able to utilize its internal funding to assist the family with one month’s worth of rent, and Levi’s family was able to come up with the rest. An eviction notice was never sent out, their premiums went back down to their regular amount, and Levi and his family were able to move forward, keeping all of their bills current. During a follow-up call, Levi shared with staff, “I didn’t think there was a way out; we couldn’t have done this without you.”

While reaching out for help may not be easy for many, it is our hope to make the process of receiving assistance less painful and much less confusing. Because of our generous donors and supporters like you, families like Levi’s have a place to call when they need help. Thank you for helping build Bridges in the Lakes Area!

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Laura’s Moment

Daughter hugging her momWhen Child Protection took Eliana at the age of 6 due to Laura’s struggles with addiction, she was forced to acknowledge the problems that had been avoiding for so long. The county placed her child in foster care, while ordering Laura to become clean and maintain that sobriety if she wanted her child to live and grow with her.

Once Laura achieved sobriety, her child was temporarily placed back in her home on a trial basis before going back to court for the final decision; she was then referred to Bridges of Hope. Laura entered not only guarded, but visibly perturbed by the possibility of losing her child. Her history with social workers plagued any potential thought that this program would be beneficial. Our staff met with Laura, made a schedule and a plan. She was uneasy, but felt this time was somehow different.

Parenting support was especially needed, but it was clear Laura was ready to work hard to regain custody of her child. Staff gave Laura a chore chart appropriate for Eliana’s age, and implemented a reward system that really blossomed their parent-child relationship. Laura was excited at the bonding that was taking place, and of her own accord even started suggesting other activities the two could participate in together. She asked meaningful questions, and set healthy boundaries. To make things even better, Laura had been working through a temp agency for three months and was offered a full time position there, which she readily accepted!

For the first time in a long time, the two were not only stable- but happy. When asked by staff if she thought she needed to be in the program any longer, Laura replied with a smile and, “I’ve got this.” Court came and went, and Laura is still the sole provider for her child.

On behalf of our Staff and Board, thank you for helping enable families to thrive and providing a message of hope in our community!

Alyssa’s Moment

Alyssa and Dan had been married for several years. The couple has two active children, solid jobs, vehicles, and a comfortable home; the average American dream as we know it. But when pressure builds, it must go somewhere. Through the ups and downs of their relationship, Dan had become abusive to Alyssa. Eventually, enough was enough and she resolved to get out, so she started saving money to help her move. It didn’t take long for Dan to catch on to her motive, however, and he promptly soaked up all her financial stores.

Alyssa had a job, a car, and a goal. With no support other than her own income, she decided to start saving once again, and hopefully avoid her husband’s scrutiny. Her perseverance paid off, and with a down payment and first month’s rent, Alyssa was able to secure an apartment. But because of her lack of credit and rental history, the agency also required an additional security deposit; another obstacle. Violence at home had been mounting, and Alyssa desperately needed a way out, so she called Bridges of Hope.

Bridges partnered with another local ministry, St. Vincent de Paul, to raise funds for the additional deposit Alyssa needed. The life of a single parent was something she was financially unfamiliar with, but Alyssa met this challenge with a strict budget, and even asked for additional tools to help her succeed!

The Lakes Area is blessed to have several agencies that serve the underprivileged. Every organization has their own specific lines to guide how they operate, which can inadvertently create a gap in services. Because of your generosity, the people who fall through those gaps have a place to call for help. Thank you for partnering with Bridges of Hope in our community!

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If you or someone you know is facing a difficult situation and not sure what to do next, call our office 218.825.7682 and speak with a Resource Specialist. Our staff can assist you in connecting with the area resources and programs that can help you resolve your situation.