Maria’s Story

Maria’s Story

Maria Case Story Post Header

Maria*, a young single mother of two, found herself in a precarious situation, balancing the demands of providing for her family while navigating the challenges of financial strain. Her story, while unique, echoes the experiences of countless parents who face the pressures of making ends meet.

The Weight of Responsibility

Maria’s commitment to her children’s well-being was unwavering. She worked full-time and took overtime shifts in an effort to catch up on the bills that had accumulated during her recent unemployment. Despite her best efforts, the cost of essentials like formula, which could reach $30 for a single can that would only last a week, stretched her already thin resources to the breaking point.

“I work 12 hour shifts and have to get up way early to make sure the kids get to where they need to,” Maria shared, her words painting a picture of the challenges she faced daily.

A Lifeline of Support

When Maria’s pediatrician recognized the impact of financial stressors on her infant’s health, they turned to Footbridge for help. Instead of resorting to punitive measures, this proactive approach aimed to provide the support Maria needed to care for her family.

Footbridge stepped in, allocating $600 towards Maria’s gas bill, a significant burden lifted from her shoulders. Beyond that direct assistance, through warm hand-offs to partner organizations, Footbridge connected Maria with vital resources like WIC, SNAP, and LIHEAP, as well as access to free formula from a local distribution center. 

The Power of Relief

The impact of this support was transformative for Maria and her family. “I was depressed and having anxiety every day not knowing how I was going to be able to do this or that,” she confided in a follow-up meeting with Footbridge 90 days later. “Clearing one big thing out for me helped me not stress so much, and I was able to focus on my other bills which were much lower than that one. And, I just had a newborn. And we were able to play more. And I wouldn’t be as stressed out.”

A quote from Maria. The quote reads, "I was depressed and having anxiety every day not knowing how I was going to be able to do this or that.”

Maria’s words convey the profound effect that targeted assistance can have on a family’s well-being. By alleviating the burden of financial stress, Footbridge not only helped ensure the health of Maria’s infant but also fostered a nurturing environment where she could bond with her children without the constant weight of worry.

Supporting Caregivers, Protecting Children

Maria’s story is a powerful testament to the resilience of parents in the face of adversity and the importance of providing options and support. “I’m just trying to get back on my feet so that I can be the best that I can be, honestly,” she shared when she first reached out to Footbridge.

Her words serve as a rallying cry for our community to come together and uplift caregivers like Maria. Beyond direct assistance, connecting caregivers like Maria to existing resources can be difference-making by itself. As a recent article noted, only 50% of eligible families in Allegheny County are enrolled in these programs. By offering a helping hand and connecting families with the resources they need to thrive, collectively we can strengthen the safety net that protects children and communities.

* this name has been changed for privacy reasons