The United Way tasks each grant recipient organization with creating networks that multiply the impact of the grant funding. Flagler Cares takes this mandate very seriously. Recently, a Flagler County resident needed just such a network to help her meet her short-term needs and a life-long goal. Ms. G was referred to Flagler Cares by the Flagler County SHIP (State Housing Initiatives Partnership) program office. The client had surgery and lost her job in a matter of weeks in mid 2019. During her period of unemployment, she and her son, who is developmentally delayed, lived on his Social Security benefits only. This caused her to get behind on rent and other expenses. She had recently returned to work. Even working 2 jobs, she was under employed and needed rental assistance through Flagler County SHIP program. SHIP requires that all clients seeking rental assistance receive financial capability counseling and budgeting education. The client completed a counseling appointment with Flagler Cares and completed the 8 online modules through FDIC Money Smart that further teaches these important skills. The online education supports the client’s goals, Flagler Cares’ goals to provide comprehensive, self-paced financial education and counseling as well as SHIP’s requirement that the client complete counseling and education.
Being a small community has its advantages. The client was familiar with Flagler Cares Project Director, DeAnna, because she is also a HUD Certified Housing Counselor. Ms. G had previously received housing counseling through St. Johns Housing Partnership and the Flagler Habitat for Humanity program, where DeAnna did counseling and homebuyer education before coming to Flagler Cares. The client had recently built a Habitat for Humanity home. She longed for a home that allowed her to provide a permanent place for her son, without fear of rent increases and eviction. But due to the job loss; the completion, closing and dedication of her Habitat home had been delayed for many months.
With the help of Flagler Cares, the client was able to get SHIP funds to bring her rent current and avoid eviction. She also received employment counseling and support for her new jobs through the United Way funded Flagler Cares Financial Capabilities program which seeks to increase income and decrease expenses for low income families in Flagler County. This allowed her to maintain the new employment, increase her income and complete her home through Habitat for Humanity.
On December 6, 2019, DeAnna attended the dedication of Ms. G’s home in the “S” section of Palm Coast. As she stood ready to cut the ribbon on her new front door, the client was ecstatic to announce that she had received a raise at one of her jobs on the day of her dedication. DeAnna presented the client with an ALDI gift card which had been provided to the Flagler Cares program through the Aldi Smart Kids grant.
This client reached her goals by working with the programs within the community that support success. Flagler Cares, funded by United Way, partnered with SHIP, which partners with Habitat for Humanity, which partners with St Johns Housing Partnership. These are the community networks that improve the lives of our most vulnerable citizens through cooperative programing.
DeAnna OFlaherty -Project Director
Financial Capability/SOAR Program
2561 Moody Blvd, Suite 206
Flagler Beach, FL 32136