The Community Outreach’s Genesis program is an 18 week program designed to train and support volunteer mentors as they partner with individuals or families who are committed to improving their household financial, parenting, and daily living skills.
The program helped Jennifer, after leaving the father of her children. She found herself as a single mom of two (5 and 1 year at that time). Jennifer started by moving in with her parents in a 2-bedroom apartment. The living room became a makeshift bedroom. She struggled a lot trying to find stability.
She stayed with her parents for about a month until the building caught on fire and most everything was damaged leaving her with very little. She hit a low point in life where she had to borrow money to pay for childcare, food, clothes etc. She was frustrated and saw no way out of the horrible situation. She went to the food stamps office where they offered help and gave her a community resource book.
That’s when she learned of The Community Outreach. “From the first day I went in there and talked to staff, I felt like I mattered, and my situation wasn’t ignored. It was a huge relief to get help when I needed it the most,” said Jennifer.
Jennifer was matched with her mentor, Regina. Together, they worked on a budget, and Regina was additional support as Jennifer navigated her new life. “Everything that went wrong she was there to give me words of encouragement. I cannot stress enough how grateful I am to have met these wonderful people that I know God sent to me during the worst time of my life,” said Jennifer.
Through Jennifer’s hard work and Regina’s guidance, Jennifer was able to purchase a car, find affordable daycare, and begin paying her bills on time. “I would like to say that if anyone needs help, reach out to this great team of caring, wonderful people. They will lead you to success and make sure you are stable before letting you go,” said Jennifer.
Last year, 84 households received the support of a Genesis mentor through The Community Outreach. Genesis mentors continue to assist their mentees during the COVID-19 pandemic. Mentors and staff from The Community Outreach are continuing their coaching and guidance, utilizing phone and video calls, email and text. Strong relationships have been key in helping mentors and mentees navigate new territory, like many of us. The Community Outreach staff has successfully moved new volunteer training for Genesis mentors online and are recruiting volunteers in anticipation of an increased need for the program as households experience a need for strong budgeting skills to maintain stable housing. Learn more at https://thecommunityoutreach.org/programs/genesis.