Single Mom Got Her Life on Track with Help from Jewish Family Services

Melissa* came to the JFS Women’s Center for help getting her life on track. In her mid-40s, she found herself separated from her husband of 20 years and living with her 7-year-old daughter and other family members in a new community. Melissa was anxious about her situation including her reduced hours at work and husband’s recent unemployment. She came to JFS for help with her resume and job search and to talk to the Women’s Center Coordinator about the new, unexpected direction her life was taking. 
Upon meeting with the JFS Women’s Center Coordinator, Melissa learned she was not alone. She joined the JFS Women’s Center support group to learn what other women were doing to redefine themselves after losing a partner. Facilitated by an experienced group leader, the group helped Melissa find the strength and confidence she lost after years in a turbulent marriage. She attended Job Seeker group meetings to learn how to overcome challenges faced by women as they mature in a constantly changing job market. Melissa was able to use the JFS kosher food pantry to help her family and learned how to apply for utility assistance and health insurance for herself and her daughter. During the JFS annual school supply event, Melissa received a backpack filled with school supplies for her daughter to start the upcoming school year.
Melissa met with a JFS career specialist to update her resume and begin her job search. She then registered for JFS computer classes to refresh her skills. Soon after connecting with JFS, Melissa learned that her job was ending and was anxious about ramping up her job search while her special needs daughter needed care outside of school hours. Melissa was able to take advantage of JFS Women’s Center funding for career training and completed an online course to become a certified paralegal. While finishing up her training, a JFS career specialist was notified of an immediate opening for a full-time paralegal in the area and contacted Melissa with the job lead. After several interviews, Melissa accepted the paralegal position and started her job right away, which allowed her to place her daughter in an after-school program that met her needs. Melissa is well on her way to her goal of moving into her own apartment with her daughter so they can work on the next phase of their life.
*Name and likeness changed for privacy.