In 2008 Margaret was working as a claims examiner and her daughter Cheryl was working for AT&T. When the economic downfall left both mother and daughter without a job and little hope of finding one in Minnesota, it seemed like the perfect time to move to Los Angeles where Cheryl could pursue her dream of an acting career.
The hotel where they stayed proved to be more expensive than anticipated and their savings was quickly diminished. Since they had no income they were forced to find someplace else to live. The manager was kind enough to take them to a shelter on Skid Row which proved to be a frightening experience for both of them. Through an online service and TBN, (a Christian broadcasting television show), Margaret & Cheryl were fortunate enough to find a family that took them into their home until they could find jobs. They stayed with this family for the next 7 months.
Cheryl found a seasonal job with Universal Studios so mother and daughter moved out, finding inexpensive places to stay including employee housing. However, when the season ended, they were told they had to vacate employee housing. Cheryl moved in with some friends she had met through her job and Margaret found herself homeless and all alone. This is when she heard about Good Shepherd Center.
Margaret became a Languille resident on September 20, 2011. As a resident, she attended every life skills workshop that was offered and met regularly with her case manager and employment coordinator. Margaret found the money management classes to be especially helpful; they taught her that she does not have to spend everything she makes. She still spends all of her paycheck, but now it is to purchase money orders for future use. Margaret said that while she was at Languille they taught her to do chores, something she was not so good at and to “get up and get out of the house; to take care of business.” She appreciated learning these skills as they enabled her to accomplish her goals.
On December 28, 2011 Margaret moved to Hawkes and was quickly identified as a great candidate for the culinary arts training program at The Village Kitchen. After completing the program at the end of March, Margaret obtained employment through one of our partners, the Department of the Aging and is currently working 32 ½ hours a week at Good Will. In the future she hopes to find a job where she can use the culinary skills she obtained while training at The Village Kitchen and has expressed an interest in continuing to volunteer there on a part-time basis. Those who know and support Margaret say that she has maintained a positive and optimistic attitude even during the most difficult times.
Cheryl is still working at Universal Studios but during the off season she is lucky to get one day a week of work. The fall and winter months are especially difficult. Consequently, Cheryl moved into Languille soon after her mother did and also proved to be a good candidate for Hawkes.
Currently Cheryl is working 3-5 days a week and has been promoted to team leader. She loves her job and is looking forward to the peak season when she will be working full time. She is saving money through her job, with automatic deductions from her paycheck into the credit union.
Margaret and Cheryl are grateful for the opportunity that Good Shepherd Center has provided them. According to Margaret, “we have been so blessed to be here. So many supports and resources are provided. This has been the best experience ever!” Cheryl added, “It is a clean, healthy environment. It is reassuring to know there is a safe place for my mom and I to be.”
Mother and daughter were determined to change their situation and have recognized the incredible opportunities available to them at Good Shepherd Center. They have taken advantage of the valuable services we have to offer and are well on their way to a successful transition back to self-sufficiency.