Sofia* is a single mother and provider for her teenage daughter. She came to MAM two weeks ago looking for help and we provided her with rental assistance. She was working as a cook in a local restaurant, but the owner decided to close after the city's "Stay at Home" ordinance went into effect, and Sofia lost her source of income.
We also gave Sofia the option to access one of MAM’s stability programs to help her build a plan moving forward. She was interested in Employment Services, but concerned because her English skills are very basic. She spoke to Yolanda, MAM Employment Services Coordinator, about steps she can take while she is without a job, with a language barrier, and while staying home to ensure her daughter continues her school work. She hopes she can return to work when the restaurant reopens, but needs to make ends meet until then.
Yolanda encouraged Sofia to think about her talents - what she enjoys doing, and whether it could be a way to work from home in the interim. Sofia loves to cook and has been creative about what she can do on a budget and with whatever food she’s been able to find on store shelves. She decided she could make pre-packaged meals to sell. Sofia has been selling them for almost two weeks through word of mouth, and using Facebook, WhatsApp and other social media networks. Her daughter has even started to help by taking photos and sharing on social media. To maintain social distancing, Sofia drops off orders at customers' doors and texts them letting them know it's arrived. While it’s not full-time work, the money is helping fill in the gap for now. With Yolanda’s guidance, Sofia is also working on computer and English skills through some free online resources that she can access on her phone.
"We all have talents that we don't know about." - Yolanda Bing, MAM Employment Services Coordinator
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* Client name changed and stock photo to maintain privacy.