In December, 2018, one of Clayton Early Learning‘s home visitors was assigned a homeless family that came to the HIPPY program from Clayton’s Community Services team. Her first visit with the family was in a very small one room trailer that was given to them by a family member until the family’s financial circumstances improved. The mother had lost her job and CCAP, and her husband had left the family.
Despite the many difficulties she was facing, the parent was incredibly kind and gracious during every visit. The mother’s number one goal was to get all three of her children, who were all enrolled in HIPPY, into a full time early childhood education program so that she could go back to work. With guidance and support from her home visitor, the mother was able to get her CCAP benefits restored and register the children in a full time early childhood education program successfully. This enabled the mother to her previous employment.
The family benefited from referrals that the home visitor was able to suggest; so that over time the family accessed a food pantry and mental health services. She was able to benefit from mental health services for herself and one of her children.
During the holidays Clayton was able to give each member of the family a gift from our community collaborations. The family was overjoyed and appreciative, since the parent was not able to afford any Christmas gifts for her children. Though the family was not in our program for long, they received what they needed during a time when there were not other resources available to them.
On her last visit this mother said to her home visitor:
“I couldn’t have done any of this without you.”
A mother enrolled in Pueblo’s SafeCare and HIPPY programs shared the impact of home visiting on her family. Through home visiting from Catholic Charities of Pueblo she and her family were able to find stability.
Earlier this year, my family was having a very tough time, along with other challenges, we had a car accident. My infant, nine-year-old, husband, and I were fine, but our car was not. The money we saved to move into our own place went to car repairs.
Things seemed to be going from bad to worse, when I met Jewl with Catholic Charities. She was just what we needed at this low point. We joined the Catholic Charities SafeCare Program for the baby. SafeCare provided us with the information and tools needed to childproof our home and keep our crawling baby protected. Jewl also referred us to Catholic Charities’ Home Stability Program, where they provided our first month’s rent, and we were able to pay our deposit, with my husband’s first paycheck. At last, we had a home to call our own.
We were still struggling to make ends meet, and I was frantically hunting for a job when Jewl told me about the HIPPY Program where parent can serve by helping other families get their kids ready for school while earning and education award for themselves. Excitedly, I applied and was chosen as a HIPPY Home Visitor!
Now, my family is doing so much better. Our children are safe and thriving. My husband and I can envision a future for ourselves and our children. We are so grateful that Catholic Charities entered our lives, lightened and load, and helped us get back on our feet. I am serving as HIPPY AmeriCorps Member with Catholic Charities and love helping others, while serving with an agency that helps families.