When a Little Help Goes a Long Way: Nia's Story

Sep 18, 2018 | by The Salvation Army

Nia was a full-time student pursuing her master’s degree in library science. She was working part time at a library and came home to her three children—ages 16, 13, and seven—each night.

Nia recently had her husband removed from their home with a protection order. Both her and her oldest daughters were survivors of domestic violence, and Nia wanted their home to be a safe place. At the time, she was participating in a variety of county programs to find healing from the abusive relationship. Unfortunately, the transition caused the family to fall into financial difficulties, and they were at risk of losing their home.

Nia came to The Salvation Army Silicon Valley looking for emergency rental assistance. After the Family Services Homelessness Prevention case manager assessed Nia’s situation, we were able to help her with her mortgage, supporting her financially for four months thanks to a fund designed to prevent homelessness.

In addition, we offered Nia budgeting help, led her through the food stamps sign-up process, and stayed in touch to help her stay organized and encouraged. There were dark days and tough times, but Nia did her best to create a new life for her family, all while maintaining her workload and school obligations.

On May 19, 2018, Nia graduated with her master’s degree. We celebrated her achievement by offering heartfelt cards of congratulations and donated flowers from Trader Joe’s. The Family Services team was also able to give her a very special gift—a Barnes & Noble gift card that they’d been hanging on to for a while.

Though Nia did all the work—healing from an abusive marriage, raising three children on her own, working and going to school, and rebuilding a new life—our team was able to support her financially and encourage her every step of the way.

Nia says it best: “I would like to thank The Salvation Army...Without their help, my children and I might have ended up on the street, homeless and hungry. Moreover, I would not be graduating this May if it weren’t for the aide I was provided. I am very lucky to have come to the right place and met all the generous people...My gratitude and thanks to The Salvation Army and its staff will be undying as I venture farther into my journey as a mom and student. Thank you.”

Learn more about our Family Services department and how programs like rent assistance make a big impact on families in our community.

Please note: names have been changed in this story.

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