Byanca is a single parent with two young daughters. She was unemployed and struggling to pay her rent and bills. With barely enough money to cover her family’s basic needs, she couldn’t afford to buy gas for her car. Without gas, she couldn’t take her girls to school, which in turn meant that she also couldn’t search for a job. Byanca was facing one challenge after another that prevented her and her young family to achieve their full potential.
Fortunately for Byanca, her daughters were enrolled in Maricopa County’s Head Start program. This no-cost early education program not only provides a rigorous educational experience for young children under 5 years old, it includes a family support component.
When the team at Head Start and Early Head Start notices that a family is experiencing adversity, they can bring an entire wealth of support programs and services. In Byanca’s case, Family Support Specialist Angelique Morales was alerted when Byanca’s daughters didn’t show up for school in her Head Start class.
Angelique and Client Services Specialist LaTonya Eaton worked with other staff across the Maricopa County Human Services Department to assist Byanca with applications for financial assistance for her rent and utilities. With this funding to cover her rent and utility bills, Byanca was able to buy gas for her car and take her daughters to school and search for a job.
Byanca’s connection to Maricopa County’s Human Services Department through Head Start provided her access to other support programs because a child’s success comes from the family’s success. Solving the immediate financial problem for Byanca also ensured that her daughters were connected to their classmates and teachers and prevented what could have led to a variety of other issues that families can experience when losing their housing and stability.
Now employed and getting back on her feet, Byanca is not only paying her bills and providing for her family, but she has also been able to save money for future emergencies. She is grateful to the people who helped her manage this adversity and provided the opportunity for her family to pursue educational and career pathways.
If you know a parent with young children in Maricopa County who might benefit from assistance from Maricopa County’s Human Services Department, share this link: www.Maricopa.gov/HelpWithBills. To help families with young children gain the advantages of early education, we encourage them to enroll in Maricopa County’s Head Start programs at www.Maricopa.gov/HeadStart.