CAP Empowers a Mother to Provide for Her Children after Her Husband Becomes Unemployed

Christina’s husband had struggled with alcoholism for some time. She worried that he would lose his job because of his drinking, as he was the sole breadwinner for her and their two young children. He ignored her pleas to seek help, however, and the quality of their family life was declining rapidly.

Christina decided to come to Chandler Christian Community Center to seek help for her husband and to save her family. She met with CAP (Community Action Program) Case Manager, Maria, and shared her story. She was beginning to feel hopeless but repeatedly stated that she wanted to help her husband get into a rehabilitation program.

The case manager provided resources to her, but during the next visit she reported that he had rejected the help. She knew that she needed to return to work and provide for her family, and soon after, her husband was fired after drinking on the job. His behavior became increasingly erratic, and fearing for the safety of her children, she asked him to leave the house and began her job search.

As Christina set out to find employment, her car broke down. Obtaining transportation from a friend, she arrived at the CAP office in tears. She stated that her husband had been living in a hotel and had exhausted their savings. Worse yet, days earlier she saw him sleeping on a park bench near their home and asked the case manager what she could do to help him. The case manager explained that once her husband was willing to get help, he could overcome his alcoholism, but for now, she had to focus on the needs of her children.

Christina prepared her resume, and was quickly hired for a job paying $15 per hour. CAP temporarily paid her car repair and child care expenses, so she could have reliable transportation to her new job. As a college graduate, she believed she could eventually do better than $15 per hour but was thankful for a job that began covering basic living expenses.

In their most recent meeting, Christina shared with Maria that she felt empowered now that she is caring for her children’s financial needs. Her affect communicated a newfound hope and personal confidence. Not only did she gain employment, but she reported the great news that her husband has entered treatment for alcohol abuse. Christina is currently receiving case management as a working single mother until she attains self-sufficiency and no longer needs the program.