Single mom, in school on GI Bill, gets help with housing

October 29, 2015

Dear Mr. Justin Baker,

I would like to express my gratitude for all the monetary assistance and support you provided me with during my family crisis. I have been your client for over a year now and I reflect back from where I began to where I am now, I am ever so grateful that God placed you in my path. During this trying time, I was afraid, confused, tired, unprepared, and losing hope for my future. My (then) husband abandoned me with three kids when I was six months pregnant with one on the way. I didn’t see this coming, and I was financially unprepared for what was about to happen.

As I recall, I had just ended my full-time job (a few months before) to return to school in pursuit of my Bachelor’s degree. So, I was a full-time student with the GI Bill as my only source of income. I heavily relied on my husband for the burden of the finances. When he left, I had no support from him (help with the kids) and he took all of “his” money with him. A couple of months later, the owners of the condo we were living in decided that they didn’t want us there anymore.

“Justin gave me invaluable advice … contacting his own people for legal advice … contacting the necessary people to find the information I needed.”

During this time, Justin was assigned as my caseworker and he did all he could do to help steer me in the right direction. By the time I came in to see him, I just had my baby and I was overwhelmed with the responsibilities of taking care of a newborn, my other kids, and trying to figure out what I needed to do to protect and provide for my family. Justin gave me invaluable advice on who I should contact and what I should do. I observed him contacting his own people for legal advice and he was able to convince the condo association to extend my stay in the condo for another month to give me more time to find another place to stay.

My children and I eventually ended up in a motel for a couple of months, which led to problems of its own. However, I was still grateful to be there rather than living in my van, in a shelter, or on the streets. When we did have to move, I didn’t even know what to do about my mail and Justin advised me to get a post office box. During my motel stay, we had to move several times because either the room was too small or management required us to. There were a few times when I even contacted Justin on the weekends (during his time off) because I didn’t know what to do in a given situation. Without fail, he would respond by contacting the necessary people to find the information I needed.

Trying to find another place to stay was also a hassle, as my credit was not the best, I was concerned about where I lived for the safety of my kids, and I needed a certain amount of bedrooms for us to be housed in. I remember Justin taking time out of his already busy schedule (he had other clients too) to call a long list of potential places for me to stay (30 or so). Every one of them turned me down and wouldn’t even give me a chance. There were even some that lied and said they would allow us to stay, only to take my deposit money and turn me down. During those moments, I knew Justin cared because he was more upset about it than I was! There were times when Justin called just to give me reassurance that everything was going to be alright.

“There were even more times when I wanted to give up and just go move into a shelter, but Justin wouldn’t let me.”

There were even more times when I wanted to give up and just go move into a shelter, but Justin wouldn’t let me. I remember one time, breaking down and crying because I was so tired and frustrated about the types of places other people were trying to send us to and how I was perceived as being too picky. I could go on and on about all the wonderful things Justin did to help us. He clearly demonstrated that his line of work was more than just a job for him.

Justin, thank you so much, and may God bless you because you have a caring heart!

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