Trying to make do with only her income, she became negligent in paying her rent on time -- which led to accruing late fees, administrative fees, and court fees. Over the eight months prior to coming to UCM, she had received an $8,000 garnishment of her wages, based on a percentage of her earnings.
Jane was referred to UCM for rental assistance, after Fairfax County's Coordinated Service Planning (CSP) office denied her rental request due to her income and household expenses. They advised her to consider residing in a shelter.
When Jane’s oldest teen daughter arrived home to see the eviction notice on the front door, she immediately sought out and retained employment for the first time. Jane’s teen son also has been seeking work. This allowed Jane to continue trying to secure enough money to pay the rent.
By the time Jane arrived at UCM for rental assistance, her teen daughter had found a job, with an employement offer letter in hand (but had not received her first pay check). With the help of her UCM counselor, Jane devised a monthly budget. Her counselor was able to negotiate with other local supporting agencies to help this family stay in their home for the holidays and through the remainder of the lease. UCM was able to also provide food that meant their limited budget could go toward other household expenses and paying off the debts.
Thanks to generous commuity support, her UCM counselor was able to assist Jane's family with more than $700, leveraging an additional $40 from other local partner agencies. The good news is that the family was able to stay in their home and avoid eviction.
As part of the budgeting process, Jane was forced to withdraw money from her son's college fund. Now that the family is getting back on their feet financially, she is working had t be able to build up that fund before he graduates from high school.