IHI Residents Share Their Stories
Nancy
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Nancy
When Nancy moved into IHI's apartment with her two daughters Lindsay and Emmilie, she was stuck in a cycle of short-term, minimum wage employment. Her monthly TANF check fell short of meeting her basic monthly expenses, and she was continually looking for new work. Because she didn't have the money to pay her bills, Nancy ignored her creditors and avoided dealing with her finances. When IHI's Resident Services Coordinator approached Nancy about the idea of applying for college, Nancy laughed and cited the many reasons that college was not for her -- she wasn't smart enough, she wasn't organized enough, and she suffered from social anxiety. But when Nancy was offered a housing subsidy through IHI's Financial Fitness and Asset Building Program as an incentive, she decided to try a few classes. She says the experience of going to college positively influenced nearly every aspect of her life. She created a detailed monthly budget in Excel and diligently worked on repairing her credit. Nancy says, "My credit scores are important to me now. I'm going to make enough money so that they matter." She now sees homeownership as an attainable goal rather than merely a dream. Nancy feels more confident in social situations, explaining, "I used to be uncomfortable talking to people, because I never felt like I had anything to offer. Now I have something to talk about." Nancy values education more than she did before, and she has an increased interest in her children's academic success. According to Nancy, the biggest change in her life as a result of participating in the FFAB program is how she envisions her future. "Before now, everything I did that was difficult, I just quit immediately. Now I want this so bad that I'm going to work -- do whatever -- to make it happen. This is something I never imagined for myself, but now I believe I can have it."