“My family became homeless because I lost my job,” said Katrina Guiles, who worked at a distribution center until she got sick during pregnancy. “I had a baby, and no money to support him. I had no money to pay my bills, so I lost my place.”
That’s how she ended up sleeping on floor of the Salvation Army Center of Hope with her sons, Hollis, now 17, and Noah, 2. At one point Hollis had to adapt to three different schools in only two months, setting him back academically.
By entering Charlotte Family Housing’s family stability program, funded by United Way, Katrina was paired with a counselor who helped her stick to a budget and develop a career path to improve her income. Most importantly, it helped them get an apartment of their own – one that’s close to her job and which kept Hollis in his current school.
Throughout their journey, United Way partners have provided critical wrap-around services. Child Care Resources helped Noah get into a quality preschool with transportation, gaining him early learning opportunities as well as allowing Katrina to work full time.
“They saved me and my family,” said Katrina about United Way’s funded partners. “We got our life back. Someone hopped on an opportunity to become part of a project, and I’m that project, a growing project – from homeless to housing.”