My story began less than a year ago. I grew up in poverty and have been in poverty for most of my adult life. I have had two failed marriages and have finally found a wonderful husband that treats me right. I was at a food bank when I heard of Circles, but really didn't know what it was all about. I had a good feeling about it though, so I went home and told my husband that we were going to go because they will feed us once a week. We started going and were welcomed with open arms.
We are victims of the cliff effect--a situation where a person who is headed toward economic stability earns a wage increase, but the raise triggers the loss of benefits that are worth more than the raise.
My husband was given a job offer making $400 more a month, so he took the position. It changed everything. We lost housing benefits, food stamps, and medical coverage. Losing benefits caused us to pay $1200 more a month than we were paying before. We were hopeless and lost. My anxiety and depression hit an all-time low.
Building relationships and learning the tools we have from Circles have given us hope and also a plan. Since we started using the tools we have been able to get the courage to take a look at our debt, set up a plan, and put into actions some of the things we have learned. Our accomplishments have been astounding. We have cleared up six different lines of debt! My credit score has gone from 620 to 698 in about eight months.
We look forward to seeing how much we will improve our lives in the months and years to come.
We are forever indebted to our Circle Leaders and friends that have given us hope and confidence to move forward.