“Beyond the financial help, Ezrah was always there for me and my children, providing constant emotional support and encouragement.”
When “Debbie,” a young, divorced mother of three walked into our offices for her first Project Ezrah meeting, she was an emotionally fragile, lost soul who felt abandoned by the world. Our team immediately realized that there was much more to Debbie’s story than a straightforward financial setback.
Starting from Scratch
Unfortunately, parts of her story were not unique to Project Ezrah, but Debbie was faced with unique challenges: a limited education combined with learning issues, both of which severely limited her earning potential. Additionally, each of her three children also had learning issues and needed to attend the financially prohibitive Sinai School for Special Needs.
Ezrah’s financial management and assistance and employment teams, along with an assigned social worker, created a plan and budget focusing on short- and long-term goals.
The Children’s Education
The first pressing issue was the children’s tuition. Though Sinai was (and has always been) extremely responsive to situations like these, there remains a sizable financial obligation for parents. Ezrah covered that expense and the children began to thrive.
A New Career
Through counseling sessions, workshops, and resume writing, an employment counselor worked with Debbie on job readiness skills. Additionally, the team looked for opportunities that would increase Debbie’s earning potential and arranged for her acceptance into the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, a state and federal program, for a six-month computer training program. Upon completion of the course work, Debbie was awarded a certificate as a Microsoft Office and Photoshop Specialist.
A New Lease on Life
Today Debbie is a retail associate, loves her job, and has been asked to take on more and more responsibilities. At a small “congratulations” celebration to salute Debbie and her new job, an Ezrah counselor asked Debbie to look into a mirror and describe how she saw herself at this much-strived-for point in her life. Her answer touched each one of us deeply: “I look like any responsible person you see on the street. Someone with a good job who pays their bills on time who makes a nice home and takes care of her family.”