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Parents find better jobs, thanks to coaching from mentors

Mentors were key to helping motivated parents find better jobs to provide for their family and future.

“John" and "Ann” are married parents with four children, living in Palatine, Ill. When they entered our program two years ago, they were in financial crisis. The Faith Community Homes rent subsidy allowed them to stay in their apartment and get caught up on some other bills. John and Ann’s volunteer mentors helped them develop a household budget and a plan for the future, including finding better paying jobs.

Here are some highlights from John and Ann’s accomplishments in our program:

  • The family’s monthly income more than tripled. After a long time at a low-wage job, John finally secured a higher paying job in the second year of our program and has already been promoted twice.

  • The couple have reduced their debt by more than $4,000.

  • Their savings increased from $0 to enough money to cover two months’ worth of expenses.

  • Ann finished her CNA (certified nursing assistant) training and immediately got a full-time job at a local healthcare facility. She continued with her classes and now is only two semesters away from earning her LPN (licensed practical nurse) certification.

John and Ann’s volunteer mentors were instrumental in helping them navigate their path. As with all Faith Community Homes families, there was a lot of discussion about household finances and creating a realistic budget. The mentors helped the family figure out the best strategy for what to do with their income tax refund money, for example. The mentors suggested steps for improving their credit score so that John and Ann could get a better interest rate on their car loan.

But beyond only talking about money, the mentors also provided advice and coaching. During the parents’ job search, the mentors taught them about networking, including how to conduct an informational interview and what questions to ask. The mentors provided tips on how to advocate for oneself in the work place, including how to ask for a raise. This networking and self-advocacy eventually led to Ann being awarded a scholarship for some of her nursing classes and John getting two promotions at his new job.

More important, the mentors were a constant source of encouragement for John and Ann. The mentors were just as excited as John when he finally got the higher paying job he had been seeking!

Through the generosity of our donors, Faith Community Homes was able to assist John and Ann’s family with needs beyond just rent and mentoring: We paid tuition for some of Ann’s certificate classes; we paid to repair the family’s car when it broke down and they did not have the money to pay for the repair; some of our supporters donated winter coats and boots for their four children; and we provided gift cards to help the parents buy Christmas gifts for their children.

John and Ann are grateful to Faith Community Homes and to their mentors for all the help they received while in our program.


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