Parent Member Spotlight: Andrew from LIFT-DC
Andrew became a LIFT-DC member in February 2019 after being referred by Ms. White at Apple Tree at THEARC. He heard that LIFT could be helpful in connecting him with resources around the city and providing support in planning out his life goals. As a single father of two young boys, Andrew described himself as “willing and ready to receive the help” and was eager to start working with a coach.
Andrew is a sensitive, intelligent, self-aware, and dedicated father who is interested in working on career and financial goals so that he can better provide for his children and feel like he is on even ground. At his intake with me, he expressed that he was juggling a lot as a single father with less than ideal housing and support systems. Andrew and his two sons were living in a permanent room at a local shelter, while Andrew was searching for work as well as for childcare for the boys.
Since February, Andrew and I have worked on career and financial goals while navigating life’s hurdles. Andrew states that “a whole lot has changed” in the time since he first began working with LIFT. After persistently following up with the hiring manager, in March he started working maintenance at THEARC. Due to his excellent work ethic, Andrew was promoted from on-call status to part-time; he is now up to almost 40 hours a week! In July, Andrew opened a bank account, after doing research to find the best option for his needs. He was no longer happy paying fees for prepaid cards and set his mind to finding a better alternative!
One key concern that has consistently weighed on Andrew has been finding trustworthy and reliable childcare that does not require an overwhelming commute and is sensitive to his work hours. With the help of AppleTree support staff, he was able to enroll his children at Apple Tree and neighboring Bishop Walker school for the 2019-2020 school year! Not only are these excellent schools, but they are located at his jobsite! This means that his sons will have before & after care. Andrew has expressed relief and anticipation for this upcoming year – the first time in a long time. At a recent meeting, he described to me a sense of seeing some light ahead for the first time in years.
Andrew’s most recent exciting news is that he has secured a brand new two bedroom-two bathroom permanent supportive housing apartment! He is looking forward to having a secure home-base for himself and his two sons. He attributes his motivation and desire to improve their quality of life to the best job he’s ever had- fatherhood. His love for Andrew Jr. & Angelo keeps him pushing forward.
In the seven months since I began working with Andrew, I have witnessed a powerful shift in his outlook and confidence. While some days may be less-than-great, Andrew consistently manages difficult situations with courage and integrity. He takes full advantage of the coaching program and his resilience is evident to anyone that has the pleasure of meeting him. ”My coach has been helpful- more than just helping me to think clearer. Some of the ways that she has helped me plan things out have been helpful for me outside of our coaching meetings. I’ve adapted these skills for my own use.” I’m so excited to see what is next for Andrew and his family. I know that his impressive character will lead him to bigger and better successes today and into the future.
This blog post was written by Margaux Blau, a coach at LIFT-DC.
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