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Not just an avocado, it's advocacy

Not just an avocado, it's advocacy
April 21, 2018 Client StoriesCollaborationsFood PantryHousing Assistance

A single mother of two children, Brenda was working at a full-time job with benefits when she moved into her apartment. She had a Section 8 voucher to help pay for her housing, and she felt like she was on the road to stability. But when her daycare plans fell through, she missed several days of work—and lost her job.

Brenda’s Section 8 voucher was supposed to cover any rent amount above one-third of her income, but the only apartment Brenda could find was priced over what HUD considers to be Fair Market Value. This meant that Brenda had to make up the difference herself. The $113 per month in rent, combined with her other expenses, slowly drained the tiny amount of money she had in savings. Lacking daycare and employment, she also quickly exhausted the help available from family and friends. When her apartment management started the eviction process, Brenda was scared. She didn’t know where to turn. Then she found out about MOM.

MOM’s case manager stepped in to negotiate with Brenda’s landlord. With financial help from MOM’s housing assistance program, Brenda was able to avoid eviction and maintain a stable home for her children. She also received school supplies for the kids, thanks to MOM’s Back to School backpack program, helping her oldest child arrive at school ready to learn. Trips to the food pantry allowed Brenda to bring home everything from avocados to spaghetti at no cost. MOM referred Brenda to an employment agency that helped her get a third shift job. Working third shift meant that other family members could watch the kids as they slept and Brenda could avoid the costs and time restrictions that go along with daycare. “I was so overwhelmed with my situation that I just couldn’t figure out what to do,” Brenda said. “MOM was able to advocate for me with my landlord and find a solution.”

With your support, MOM helps meet the basic needs of people in our community, working to end hunger and prevent homelessness. MOM is also a voice for people like Brenda when they most need one. Your gift to MOM makes it possible for families in west Madison, Middleton and Cross Plains to access avocados—and advocacy.

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