“I honestly don’t know what I would have done without Hands To Help Ministries.
HTH put my stomach at ease and helped me to get afloat so I could get a new job.
Most things are just one time things. HTH covered all the bases to help me really get on my feet.”
Melinda has lived in the Irving Park neighborhood for the last six years. She moved from Norwood Park when she found an apartment that was affordable and close to public transportation.
Melinda began working when she was 18 and raised a daughter who is now 21 and is raising a son who is 13. She had worked steadily since she was 18, mostly as a waitress and a secretary, until the middle of 2007. Melinda found out she was pregnant and decided she was not emotionally or financially able to raise another child and made the difficult choice to place her baby for adoption.
Although Melinda believes that she made the best decision for her family and the baby, after the pregnancy and adoption Melinda slipped into a severe depression. Melinda lost her job and got behind in her rent. Melinda had been getting food assistance from the Irving Park Pantry for a few years and learned about Hands To Help Ministries when she visited the pantry in the fall of 2007.
Melinda met with the outreach worker for Hands To Help Ministries. She secured another waitressing job in January 2008. Hands To Help Ministries has provided rent, food, transportation and utility assistance to help stabilize Melinda’s situation so she could succeed in her new job. Despite the new waitressing job, Melinda is still struggling to make ends meet.
Her son qualified for SSI because of an ADHD condition after applying in January 2008. One check was received in July 2008, but Melinda is still waiting for a lump sum check to cover January to June 2008 that was lost in the mail.
Once the lump sum payment is received, Melinda should be able to pay off some debts and be able to become more stable financially. She has moved into a cheaper apartment and continues to look for extra work, such as catering, to supplement the waitressing.
Melinda also suffers from a degenerative eye disease. She had the necessary surgery on one eye a few years ago, but needs to have surgery on the other eye to save her sight. The recovery time for the surgery is about three weeks and she cannot afford to take this time off from work and is not even sure her job would allow her to take the time. Her sight has gotten much worse just in the last six months that Hands To Help has been working with her.
Melinda is continuing to work with Hands To Help Ministries to improve her life.
*Name has been changed to honor confidentiality of clients.