Marion’s* story is a reminder that even families who have prepared for a financial crisis can still find themselves at a loss if they encounter two at the same time, especially at a point where their income has also temporarily changed.
Marion, a college-educated paraprofessional at an area school district, was referred to Footbridge by an Allegheny County Family Care Center after finding herself in an unexpected situation. Marion was hit with two financial challenges over the summer; a sudden rent increase and an unanticipated one-time expense. Although she works full-time, she does not get paid while school is off for the summer. These circumstances, combined with a period of high inflation, were no match for her carefully-planned budget. “I’m doing the best I can, I’m a college graduate. I work hard. I’m doing the best I can do but this is too much,” Marion expressed. Although she was already back to work by the time she connected with Footbridge, the delay of three weeks before her first paycheck contributed to what was becoming a huge gap in her ability to make ends meet.
Imminent Risk of Loss
With an eviction notice in hand for nonpayment of rent, the risk of losing their apartment became a looming possibility for Marion and her daughter. This turn of events is a reminder of the harsh reality that even the most diligent can find themselves in precarious situations. “I’m killing myself, jumping through fiery hoops to make ends meet. I literally woke up out of my sleep in a panic attack,” Marion shared, giving voice to her significant concern. Marion knew that once she was caught up she could keep her finances in order, but she was at a loss to figure out how to do so. As she said, “This has never happened to me.”
Recognizing the urgency, Footbridge for Families stepped in to provide $2,160 to cover back rent. This support helped Marion and her daughter avoid a housing crisis and return to a point of stability for the family.
Consequences of Unexpected Events
Marion’s tale, while uniquely hers, underscores a collective aspiration for a world where each person has the space to navigate life’s unpredictability with dignity. It’s a reminder of how interconnected our lives are and how, through understanding and support, we contribute not just to individual well-being, but to the fabric of a compassionate community.
* this name has been changed for privacy reasons