Christie had a plan. She was going to finish her master’s degree, get a job as a librarian and give her family a good life. Then her husband became abusive. Before she knew it, Christie was ALICE.
The night the police came, she borrowed enough money from her mom to rent an apartment, put her three daughters and whatever else would fit into her car, and never looked back.
Suddenly, Christie was struggling just to get by. She had to earn more to survive, so she dropped her graduate classes to part-time and started working full-time while she finished school. She remembers months spent sleeping on the floor of her apartment with her daughters, having to explain to her girls that they couldn’t afford holiday gifts, and trying to come up with creative ways to make sure her kids never knew how hard it was.
Even after Christie earned her degree and landed a job, she didn’t have anything extra. It took everything she had just to make ends meet every month.
“I knew that I could afford my rent and I could afford this much for food, but any emergency would wipe me out,” she says. “I couldn’t afford to miss one paycheck and continue to pay my bills. That’s a very terrifying situation to be in when you’ve got three girls depending on you.”
Through United Way THRIVE, Christie was able to move beyond survival. She took budgeting, credit counseling, and homeownership courses. She worked with a financial coach and even enrolled in a matched savings program that provided a match on the money she saved to buy a home.
“I wanted to be able to get a house I could afford on my income so I would never be in that position again,” Christie says. “Walking through the doors and being able to tell my children that this is our house, this is where we’re going to live, this is our neighborhood, I can’t even describe it.”