Denise’s Story

Denise’s Story

Denise's Case Story Post Header

In our communities, the threads of individual stories interweave to create a larger picture. This picture often remains incomplete without acknowledging the quiet struggles of families like Denise’s*, who find themselves at a crossroads not of their own making.

A Sudden and Unexpected Crisis

Denise, a dedicated mail carrier, unexpectedly faced a life-altering situation when her pregnancy became high risk. This sudden twist led to the loss of her job and subsequently, the family’s financial stability. During this critical phase, her partner, too, became unexpectedly unemployed. The domino effect of these events left them grappling with mounting bills and the unnerving possibility of eviction and water shutoff. 

The Impact

The situation presented more than a financial crisis; it threatened to unravel the family’s unity. With the shadow of a shelter or separation looming over their heads, the tension was palpable. Denise shared that the thought of her children being displaced, or worse, split up, was a constant source of fear and anxiety.

Footbridge’s Assistance

Footbridge for Families, referred by Healthy Start Pittsburgh, recognized the urgency of Denise’s predicament. They offered a swift and targeted response. The assistance, totaling $2,377, covered the back rent and water bill, lifting the imminent threat of eviction. Denise’s relief was evident when she said, “Footbridge kept us from being homeless with a newborn.”

Restoring Dignity

This intervention by Footbridge was more than financial aid; it was an affirmation of dignity and a recognition that a small amount of assistance can help families overcome an unexpected crisis and return to self-sufficiency. Denise shared, “I’d hate to think of what could have occurred without [Footbridge’s] help. We’re doing better now, back at work, but still trying to catch up.”

A quote from Denise. The quote reads, "We’re doing better now, back at work, but still trying to catch up."

A Broader Perspective

Denise’s situation is not an isolated incident. According to the U.S. Federal Reserve’s 2022 Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households survey, 37% of families lack the financial resources to cover an emergency expense of $400 using only their savings. That’s 5% higher than the same figure from 2021. 

Denise’s journey from the brink of despair to a renewed sense of hope is a powerful reminder of the pivotal role that targeted support can play.

* this name has been changed for privacy reasons