Thirty-seven-year-old Angel Causby and her five-year-old son, Josiah, moved to Price Hill from the Mount Healthy area in 2015. Angel first got involved with Santa Maria Community Services after signing up to receive diapers for her son when he was just a baby. As Josiah got older, Angel got involved with Parents on Point.
Parents on Point is a partnership between Santa Maria and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Established in Chicago under the name Chicago Parent Program, Parents on Point is a community-based support group for caregivers of children ages 2-5. Parents on Point was created to empower and support participants in raising healthy and happy young children. Angel got involved in order to promote a positive parent and child relationship and interactions with Josiah. “Parents on Point helped me gradually understand basic parenting skills,” Angel said.
Angel also enrolled Josiah in Promoting our Preschoolers where she worked with Jaime Mutter, Program Manager. Promoting our Preschoolers is Santa Maria’s family-focused kindergarten-readiness program that works collaboratively with families, schools, and the community through home visitation. Jaime brought educational supplies for Angel and Josiah to work on. “Angel was very goal oriented,” Jaime said. “She often set goals for herself and Josiah to work on and those goals would be accomplished by our next visit. Education is very important to her and she works with Josiah a lot. By the time Josiah graduated from our program he was already beginning to read, write sentences, and complete basic math problems.”
Angel later sought assistance from Santa Maria’s Financial Coaching program which helped her acquire and utilize life skills that she did not learn in school. She said, “The financial coaching program has given me better tools and education to become debt free and financially independent.” Angel’s financial coach, Destiny Simone, agreed. “I learned a lot working with Angel. I’ve learned that Angel is resilient and driven to achieve every goal that she sets for herself. I admire her persistence.”
Angel also opened a twin savings account, a tool participants use to build their credit score by making payments over the course of a year on a loan that is placed into a locked savings account. “The twin account has helped me build my credit and gave me inspiration to do better and put me on the right track learning to save and make a budget,” she said. Angel’s ultimate goal is to be debt free and purchase her own home. Destiny is confident that Angel will reach her goal as she has already wiped out roughly $18,000 in debt and raised her credit score by 100 points! In addition, over the course of 3 years, while utilizing matched savings and lending circles, Angel’s financial well-being score increased from 25 to 68. She has created a Limited Liability Company, All American K9 (https://allamericank9llc.com), and is growing her business with the help of a computer provided by Santa Maria. The next step on her journey may be Santa Maria’s homestead program!
Angel’s family, like many others, has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Like many, she is afraid of contracting the disease. “It’s hard for me to go out shopping with a child for fear I will get sick and not be able to care for my son,” she said. The quarantine has taken a financial toll on her family, leading Angel to seek help at a food pantry. She is also in need of household supplies like toilet paper, paper towels, and toiletries. Santa Maria provides assistance to clients like Angel with the help of your generous donations.
“Santa Maria is an awesome program, but they are not here to rewrite your mistakes and do all the work for you,” Angel said. “You have to carry your load and take responsibility and listen and learn. Sometimes you will fail, but don’t let that define who you are.” Angel said she wouldn’t be where she is today – on her way to financial independence – without Santa Maria’s assistance.