When we first interviewed “Mikah” for the Self-Sufficiency Program (SSP), she presented as a very defeated single mother that just wanted a “little help.” After learning more about the program and knowing that she could remain in our housing program for up to 2 years, she confidently stated, “I bet I am out within a year. I just need to get back on my feet and we will be ok.”
We welcomed Mikah and her teenage daughter “Sherry” into the Self-Sufficiency Program on December 5, 2013. They had been referred to SMHC from the Safe House. Mikah left a physically and emotionally abusive relationship in August 2013. Upon entering the program, the only possessions that she and Sherry had left were a minivan and one bag of clothing each. Mikah reported a history of mental and physical abuse from her biological mother that suffered from Munchausen’s and reports that her severe depression and anxiety started when she was 15, after being hospitalized when her mom drugged her to get money and sympathy from her biological father. When Mikah came to St. Martin’s she was diagnosed with complex childhood PTSD that affected her daily functioning and especially relationships. She worked closely with her CSW and was actively working to improve her circumstances. She remained employed throughout the duration while in SSP.
Mikah was housed on January 6, 2014, and by January 7th had a fully furnished house through Family Promises. The only additional assistance Mikah required from her CSW was moving in her washer and dryer. During her time in the Self-Sufficiency Program, Mikah increased her income from $10 to $13.15 per hour. Also, Sherry was able to receive Social Security of $448 per month along with nearly $15,000 in back child support, which Mikah put in a savings account for her future college expenses. Sherry began taking college classes as a junior in high school and continues to get ahead for her future. Mikah purchased a new vehicle and gave their trusty minivan to Sherry for her “first vehicle.” Mikah will begin seeking her Bachelor’s Degree in accounting beginning in January 2015. Mikah is one of our most successful stories for the Self-Sufficiency Program, graduating just 5 days shy of 1 year!!