Derrick and Jamie just needed the opportunity to get back on their feet. Despite Derrick having a job, sometimes it was difficult to make ends meet. At one point, the only housing option that was available to them was paying a weekly rate in a hotel, which hardly left anything for themselves, their four children, or any type of permanent housing.
As this cycle continued, Jamie remarked, “we just were trying to play catch-up, and he (Derrick) had lost his job, and we ended up not being able to … so we ended up homeless.”
Facing this difficult situation and having no other alternatives, they called 2-1-1 and were temporarily placed in a hotel. During this time, they met with Doug and Wendi at TLC, where they were accepted into the program. They were especially thankful for this because it allowed them all to stay together as a family.
Six years prior to this, Derrick had briefly stayed at TLC, so he knew what this experience was going to be like for his family. Jamie, not knowing what to expect, was just thankful that her family had a place to stay. Jamie remarked, “We just needed a roof over our heads, and some time, and that’s exactly what TLC gave us.” Fortunately, during this time of transition, Jamie was able to get a job as a CNA (certified nursing assistant).
While at TLC, Jamie realized that “other people come into the program with more obstacles than us” and that being at TLC, we were part of a larger community, “a big family.” Derrick and Jamie both saw that others were going through the struggles that they previously had and even currently were facing, but still saw that they had the opportunity to give back and did so by offering food to others when they could.
Being both thankful for a place to stay, but also motivated to have a home for their family, Derrick and Jamie set a goal of exiting TLC in 30 days. When discussing this with their caseworker, Steven, he wanted to ensure their success and didn’t want them to feel too pressured to meet an unrealistic goal. As they continued toward their 30-day goal, they did everything they could to save.
Derrick and Jamie exited TLC just under their 30-day goal and moved into a house that they are currently renting in Columbia. They are thankful for all of the opportunities provided to them. “They give you all the tools you need, you just need to use them,” Derrick said, looking back at his time at TLC. “You just have to set your goal and meet it,” Jamie said, which they certainly did.