When Nicole Stephens was first told about Family Promise and what they do, she was living two counties away. But she didn’t let that stop her from reaching out to them immediately and throw herself into completing the program after she was accepted.
Nicole, 35, has four children, ages 15, 11 and 6-year-old twins. She was living in Liberty County when a social worker from the Liberty County Board of Education recommended Nicole contact Family Promise to see what resources were available.
“I was having a hard time financially. I didn’t have a job, and when the BoE worker referred me to Family Promise, I did not hesitate. I reached out as soon as I could, filled out the application and got a call from them. I was there that same day!” Nicole said.
When she arrived, Nicole was pleasantly surprised by the welcome and reassurances she found at Family Promise, which is led by Executive Director Katrina Bostick.
“They were not judgmental. They did not judge me or the situation I was in. They were so welcoming and so helpful with locating resources. Ms. Bostick, she is a miracle worker,” Nicole said.
She worked hard to complete Family Promise’s required programs, which she said was easier than expected because her children were taken care of and she did not have to worry that their needs weren’t being met. Knowing her family’s basics were taken care of let Nicole worker hard to get back on the right track.
“It was a relief,” Nicole admits. “I didn’t have to worry transportation, money and making sure that my kids ate. Those things were handled, so I could focus on things like finding a job, a house and things like that.”
Soon, Nicole found a job at IKEA, and Family Promise’s staff helped her family find a house. She knew, at that point, her life had been changed. And she was incredibly grateful for the people who helped make it happen.
If Nicole could offer advice to anyone who is currently in a tough spot, she’d let them know that proactivity is key.
“Don’t be afraid to get out there and see what’s available and search for resources. If you get back on your feet, please learn how to budget and have a cushion so that when there’s another rainy day, you’re going to be OK,” Nicole said. “Family Promise is doing what they do so their clients can better themselves. If you’re doing the program, you have to be compliant and follow their rules. They don’t ask that much of you, so just do what they ask and you’ll be so happy you did.”