Jon Seymoure was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York and moved to Cincinnati with his wife, daughter and oldest son in 2006 seeking a better life for his growing family. After moving to Price Hill, the Seymoure family fell on hard times. Jon was injured in 2012 and was unable to work. That’s when he found Santa Maria.
Jon and his family sought assistance with housing, early childhood development, finances and utilities. Tonicia Green, Data Coordinator at Santa Maria, assisted with Jon’s situation. Jon and Tonicia quickly formed a bond.“ Jon is a strong-willed individual constantly seeking resources and guidance to move his family out of poverty. He has great follow-through capabilities and shares information to help to improve our services as well,” Tonicia said.
Jon characterizes himself as a God-fearing man, a husband, a dad, and a leader. He also describes himself as outgoing, caring and a “smiler.” Ben Klayer, Events and Corporate Engagement Specialist at Santa Maria, agrees. “Jon’s positive attitude is infectious. He always has a smile on his face.”
“I got involved with Santa Maria Community Services because the people there are very friendly and helpful, caring and show empathy,” Jon said. “They understood that life happens, mistakes happen, and sometimes you just get overwhelmed.” When the going gets tough, he said, “Santa Maria helps you to understand you are not the only one, and it’s alright to fail as long as you keep trying to prevail.”
When it comes to utilizing Santa Maria’s services, it’s a family affair for the Seymoures. John and his wife, Latisa, have six children: Amari-21, Azariah-14, Nehemiah-12, Malachi-11, Elisha-9, and Gabriel-4. Latisa and Amari are both currently receiving services at Santa Maria. Latisa credited Santa Maria with helping her land a job with Cincinnati Public Schools five years ago and Amari is now enrolled in Cincinnati State Technical and Community College.
Jon first got involved with Santa Maria by attending the agency’s Rent Wise course. Rent Wise is a tenant education class that presents information on housing and renting properties. It covers budgeting and affordable housing, finding and applying for housing, tenant/landlord rights and responsibilities, home care, and managing utilities. Because of Rent Wise, Jon was able to know what to look for before signing a lease.
Jon also took advantage of Santa Maria’s workforce development and financial education programs. Santa Maria’s workforce development program is open to all ages and offers orientation for education, employment services and financial coaching services. Financial educatio
n classes offer one-on-one financial coaching and in-group presentations. They assist with credit building, savings strategies, spending plan creation and more. Jon counts these services as a blessing to his family.
Jon places great emphasis on the assistance he received through coaching. “Not only do the [staff] keep you on your toes, they congratulate you when things are looking up. They help you keep yourself stabilized by reminding you things can still happen, and help keep you prepared for any shortfalls that may come up, so you don’t begin to doubt yourself.” Jon said.
Santa Maria has taught him to not only be patient, but to keep moving forward and not get comfortable with any situation that needs to be addressed. He has learned to never become complacent. Santa Maria showed him how to stand strong for his family.
Jon dreams of getting his budget to a point where his family can enjoy their lives without worry and Santa Maria is helping him with that. He’s now giving back to the organization that, in his words, gave so much to him and his family. He and Latisa recently volunteered at a Cincinnati Cyclones game selling split-the-pot tickets that partially benefitted Santa Maria, and he looks forward to doing even more! Jon added, “There aren’t enough ways to describe our gratitude for your services. If I hit the lottery I would donate and invest in you guys. You’re the best community service organization in the Greater Cincinnati area. We love you guys sincerely.”