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She also met with Ms. Collier at least once a week. “She was always available, even late at night, if need be,” says Ms. Colon. The IAH program also took care of basic needs. “They helped with furniture, clothes, food, a place to call if I needed something.”
She continued to search for full-time work and within two months gained a full-time job at Creative Images childcare center. “I did a little bit of everything there – cook, driver, teacher, all of it.”
Ms. Colon’s two daughters initially had trouble adjusting to their new school and daycare center after the disruption in their lives. But it didn’t take long for them to rally. Essance is now on the Principal’s List and participating in the Cool Girls afterschool program, and Ellure is happy and well adjusted. Ms. Colon is also becoming more active in her children’s schools and is serving on a parent committee.
“Part of Initiative’s job is to immediately provide stability for children so they have all they need to reach their potential,” says Initiative Executive Director Lisa Wise.
Two years after Ms. Colon walked into the IAH office, her future is bright. She has completed the IAH program, and she and her daughters are renting their own apartment. She is also excited about her new job with a gas utility call center. “I will always be grateful for Chasity Collier and Initiative,” she says. “Chasity was always there when I needed her. I couldn’t have survived without her.”
As a community-based, non-profit organization, Initiative relies in part on the contributions of funds, time and the talents of its volun- teers and donors.Initiative is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. All contributions in cash or goods are tax deductible.