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“Things looked so promising at the start of the year.”
When Anthony and his wife started having marital problems, they committed to repairing their relationship. “We made a New Year’s resolution to get help and started seeing a PCHAS Child and Family specialist in January,” Anthony says. “We were optimistic. Three months later it all came apart.”
Anthony works in construction. He rents an apartment for his young family in South Texas and looks forward to buying his own home in a few years. When the COVID-19 crisis reduced Anthony’s work hours by half and then half again, he couldn’t sleep. “We had enough for April’s rent, but all of a sudden we had nothing for May,” he said. Should the kids go to stay with their grandparents? Should they look for an emergency shelter? Overwhelmed, Anthony and his wife were grateful they could keep seeing their PCHAS specialist, Haley Savage.
“Many of my clients were struggling before this pandemic,” Haley says. “Now they are really in survival mode. But this is exactly what PCHAS is here for: to get families through a crisis. In fact, we help them get through it and come out stronger. We helped Anthony pay May’s rent and we put him in touch with community resources that could assist with groceries and utility bills.”
Haley counsels another family who has struggled with meeting basic needs for more than a year. When the quarantine began, the children’s school offered free meals, but their parents’ health issues meant they could not risk daily exposure to the virus. Fortunately, a PCHAS volunteer gave Haley a supermarket gift card and she was able to supplement the family’s grocery budget. That small kindness reduced the anxiety of everyone in the home.
“Many people think of PCHAS as a place that looks after kids who are abandoned,” Haley explains. “But we also help families stick together until things are looking up again.”
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