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Financial Resiliency

Fred’s Story

“I was born and raised in Fort Worth. My
mom is a single mother, she has 7 kids.
We’ve lived in Section 8 housing our whole entire life.
After I graduated high school, I started college at TCC. But my mom needed help paying the bills, so I had to drop out of college to work and help my family. In 2021, we were staying in a really bad apartment complex. They ended up putting
us out. At the time, I had just started working at the Omni Fort Worth Hotel. They have a partnership with Catholic Charities and gave me their number. I called them that same day. By the time I met my Navigator, Raven, my mom and I were sleeping in her car. I was never embarrassed about my situation. But this was the first time in my life that I actually felt like I had no other options. One of the very first things Raven helped me to do was to get an apartment. Raven helped me through the whole process – I even 

Facetimed her while I was touring the unit to show her what it looked like and get her thoughts. Now, for the first time in my life, I’m not living in Section 8 housing.
The most important thing Catholic Charities did for me was to help me budget. Before Raven, I didn’t know anything about budgeting. I wasn’t saving anything. We went through all of my bills – I wrote them all down, paid them every month and put a quarter of each paycheck into savings. I haven’t been late on paying rent since I moved into my apartment, not one time.

"I started working at my very first hospital job. In a couple of years, I’ll be an RN."

As soon as I could manage my time and budget, Catholic Charities had me reenrolling in TCC.

The second most important thing that Catholic Charities did for me was keep my mental health intact. I called Raven out of frustration a lot of times. She would tell me exactly who to call, what I should say and what I should do. I was calling her all the time, and every time she was there for me to talk through it.
When I moved into my first apartment, it was really far from my job at the Omni hotel. It took me an hour and two buses to get to work each way. When I couldn’t afford bus passes, Catholic Charities was there. It was hard, but it wasn’t impossible. Earlier this year (2022), Raven called me and said someone had donated a truck to Catholic Charities and she asked if I wanted
it. I couldn’t believe it – I mean I’ve never known anyone to just give away a truck like that. I’ve wanted a truck my entire life. When I first saw it, I couldn’t believe my eyes. That truck was one of the best things that has ever happened to me. 

Without Catholic Charities, I honestly don’t know where I would be. I know I wouldn’t have a job. I know I wouldn’t be in school. I wouldn’t have anything. My entire life, I’ve known that I wanted to get into the medical field. After seeing my grandmother die, I knew I wanted to be a nurse – to take care of people like that.

In Dec 2022, I started working at my very first hospital job. In a couple of years, I’ll be an RN. And, I’m expecting my first child, a baby boy, Fred III. Before Catholic Charities, no one ever helped me with anything. Catholic Charities has been there for me the whole entire way.

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