Cheridee was apprehensive when joining the Circles Initiative, but two years later she was connected with compassionate people and learned new skills that help her become financially stable. Now with her two kids, she plans on buying a house of her own.
Two years ago today, I signed up for a program called Circles. I met with Lamont Hampton at the Family Connections Center in Clearfield, Utah. In the initial interview with Lamont I was very apprehensive to join this initiative because I had trust issues and I felt that my finances should be private.
Being an independent single mother of two, I took care of myself and never asked for help. I lacked self-esteem and self-confidence in every aspect of my life. I had recently been through a bankruptcy so my credit was shot, and my income wasn’t enough to pay the bills. Every month I received eviction notices and/or shut off notices and the stress was slowly killing me, bringing depression as well.
We talked about our dreams and finances which I struggled with because my income was so limited. We set goals and communicated with people outside of my trusted, usual circle.
Shortly after the interview, the classes started. I was the one in the back and didn’t speak to anyone. In the beginning I kept thinking, “why am I here?” I wondered what I would gain from such a program. I expressed my feelings to Lamont and he told me to not give up so quickly. As time went on, I gained a friendship with not only Lamont but with Jesse Checkman and others in the class. We talked about our dreams and finances which I struggled with because my income was so limited. We set goals and communicated with people outside of my trusted, usual circle.
My commitment to myself, my children, and also Lamont and Jesse helped me attend every class and graduate. I found better employment that paid more and had better hours so that I could be with my kids. Even though I was making more money there were a few setbacks due to the Cliff Effects. I was removed from food stamps, which at the time was $500 a month. Then my children and I were removed from Medicaid. I was stumped and didn’t know how I could pull through this. It was time to make a change. The networking and tools I learned through Circles were the BIGGEST help with my struggles. I began to manage money better and reached out when I needed advice or help.
Through the education I received in Circles, I have been able raise my credit scores, save money, and now I am pre-qualified to buy my own home. I am house hunting and every day I feel so blessed that I was given the opportunity to join such an amazing group! I have reached my goals and set new ones for the more challenging adventures in my life.