In June 2016, Tonya, a single mother working fulltime and raising four children (ages 2, 7, 9 and 15), had reached a breaking point after her car was wrecked. The tremendous stress, from the incurred expenses to replace the car and obtain new insurance coverage along with legal issues which arose from the accident, was overwhelming.

Tonya’s Family Advocate at Sunbeam Family Services, where her youngest son was enrolled in Early Head Start, referred her to UT for assistance with utility bills when the financial burden became unmanageable. Tonya’s electric and gas services were scheduled to be disconnected, and her family was at risk of eviction.

A tearful Tonya met with our Case Manager who reviewed her budget and provided guidance on managing her finances. UT paid Tonya’s electric and gas bills to ensure the utilities remained connected and the family stayed in their home. In addition, the Case Manager discussed counseling options for Tonya and her children to help deal with the trauma and stress of the situation. Tonya couldn’t believe there was an organization that was so supportive and caring in her family’s time of crisis.

Today, Tonya and her family are doing great. The children are all in school and thriving. Tonya is able to manage her budget and is actively involved at her church and children’s school. The assistance UT provided not only helped Tonya and her family keep their place called home, it also helped restore hope for her family.

*Note: Tonya asked that we not use her image or real for this story to maintain her anonymity. 
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