United Way Fights For...
single mothers like Gabi.
Gabi is a mother of four children under 10 who came into the CalWORKs program after her marriage broke up. When she first came to United Way, she had no work experience and was living with her grandparents, sharing one room with her four kids.
Although she aspired to be a preschool teacher, Gabi did not see a path to achieving her dream while providing for her family. To help Gabi move toward her goal while fulfilling her volunteer requirement, her CalWORKs coordinator placed her at a local Head Start early education site to gain experience. Gabi also enrolled in Early Childhood Education classes at Hartnell to get job training.
Gabi had been volunteering for nearly a year when a paid position became available at Head Start. With her proven performance as a volunteer and the training she received in her classes, she was hired for a full-time job.
Gabi’s job has led to many empowering experiences. For the first time, she was responsible for filing her own taxes and chose to use United Way’s VITA Free Tax Prep services. As she is employed, Gabi was eligible to claim the Earned Income Tax Credit as well as her full refund and the Child Tax Credit. The refund was life changing. Gabi now had enough savings for the deposit and first month’s rent on an apartment — their own space. Before her first year work anniversary, the family moved into an income based apartment that she could afford long-term.
Her family now has stability. Research shows the kids will perform better in school and have the promise of a brighter future. Plus, her grandparents are nearby and glad to baby sit when called upon.
While the story is true, client names and images have been changed to protect their privacy.