Marilyn (name has been changed) is a 38 year old African -American young woman from Jackson. She is the Mother of 3 children; their ages are 5 months, 2 years, and 5 year of age. Although, she is a graduate of Belhaven College with a degree in paralegal studies, she has been unable to find a job as a paralegal. She did find a job with a local law firm as a runner. Unfortunately, she became homeless when the law firm for which she was working laid her off when the firm had to cut back on personnel. When her funds ran out she was unable to pay her rent and she was finally evicted from her apartment.
Marilyn was desperate because of her children and she came to Stewpot for help. She and her children were initially placed at Matt’s Emergency Shelter and her children were enrolled in daycare at Karitas, a daycare center which is offered free to Stewpot shelter clients by Catholic Charities. Marilyn stayed at Matt’s House for 8 days and was then transferred to Sims Transitional Shelter. She was transferred to Sims because the Stewpot staff felt that she would need more time finding a job and suitable housing for her children. Marilyn initially had difficulty adjusting to her loss of a job and life in a shelter but working with Mrs. Carter, Stewpot licensed professional counselor, she became a model client and shortly began participating in the group activities at the Sims House with very good attitude. Marilyn and her children especially enjoyed the field trips arranged for Sims House clients to go to all the church Christmas Parties, to New Stage Theatre productions and to the Natural Science Museum.
Marilyn then became involved in the TANF Work program through the State Department of Human Services. For about a week, she looked for employment during the day. Finally, at the Medical Mall, she volunteered with a potential employer to work so that they could witness her skills and abilities. After two weeks, they offered her a job as a Medicaid clerk.
Marilyn was able to move out of Sims House on her 91st day at the Shelter, the designed maximum time of stay. She and her children moved to a 3 bedroom apartment in Clinton. TANF has subsequently given Edna vouchers for her children to move to the Day Care center of her choice but they are staying at Karitas. The Stewpot driver still pickers up in the mornings to take her to her job and then take her children to day care and returns to take her home at night. As soon as Marilyn is able to provide her own transportation, we will consider her a true Stewpot success story.