Zandra and her infant daughter, Zy’Unique, entered Our House’s homeless prevention program, CAFSI, in early 2019 after Zandra made the courageous decision to drop everything and leave an abusive relationship. Having nothing to her name, not even extra clothes, Zandra and Zy’Unique checked into a local domestic violence shelter. There, Zandra learned about Our House’s Career Center where she began to come each day to job search and eat lunch in the Shelter. While utilizing the Career Center Zandra not only found employment, but she completed community service hours to pay down a ticket, and also got plugged into the CAFSI program. Enrolling in CAFSI led Zandra to the vital resources she needed as a new mother learning how to support herself for the first time in many years.
Zandra, self-admittedly not knowing anything about raising a child, began to attend our Positively Parenting classes where she learned all kinds of parenting techniques, as well as attending sessions with Our House's Mental Health Manager to cope with the stress of being a new mom. Zandra rose to meet every challenge in front of her and exceeded each goal that she set for herself—opening a bank account, purchasing a car, paying off debt, repairing her credit, and building her savings.
When COVID struck, Zandra was laid off from her job and found herself once again in an unstable situation, but her case manager helped her navigate unemployment benefits, applying for SNAP, and even provided weekly food boxes through a partnership with Potluck Food Rescue. Zandra used donated clothes from Our House's Career Center closet to be interview-ready and landed a new job as a Patient Service Representative in a women’s care clinic where she continues to work today, while also attending nursing school. Zandra has since moved into a new apartment in North Little Rock in a safe, family-friendly neighborhood where she plans to stay until she saves up to buy her own home! Looking back, Zandra is amazed at her own courage for having the strength to get up and leave an unsafe situation, not knowing what the future held. Two years later, Zandra has officially graduated from the CAFSI program, transforming from an overwhelmed new parent into a courageous mother with a thriving family!