Monica: Monica and her 16-year-old daughter are relatively new to Tacoma. They moved to the Pacific Northwest after incurring loss, violence, and financial uncertainty. Upon moving to Tacoma, Monica and her daughter found themselves homeless without any local connections to support them. Throughout their time in and out of shelters, motels, and in the back of their car Monica supported them by working full time as a medical assistant and spending her weekends applying for housing and other assistance programs.
Monica and her daughter are now safely housed in what they call their “private sanctuary”, meeting regularly with a therapist, and able to consistently pay their car payments and other bills. Monica homeschools her daughter and is an avid home gardener.
“I have the chance to make my own decisions, and while we are still definitely poor it is so much different than how it used to feel,” Says Monica when asked about her experience receiving a guaranteed income. Monica has said that this “blessing” keeps her from needing a second job, has allowed her to leave an unsafe workspace, keeps her car bills paid, and might even allow for a day at a theme park for her and her daughter.”
“First, just being accepted into this program was awesome. To have that tiny bump to help combat debt/bills is terrific and terrifying. Terrific because I know that utility bill will be paid and my family will have power and water. I can breathe easier for a moment instead of worrying myself to death about money, working extra hours, and hours of lost sleep due to the mental/physical affects of not knowing how I will provide for my family. I spend more time talking to my kids, I don't freak out everytime there is a new bill, and I get to talk about this amazing program so hopefully we can get it out to everyone that needs it. Terrifying because this is going to end and then what? With prices continuing to climb and those that need it most are not getting raises, I got a ".50 raise", but with inflation I am not making more. I spend more on just about everything so that "raise" does not make up the difference with inflation. A lot of people that I have talked to don't agree with the program, till I let them know that I am in it. Most are shocked, but we are in the middle, make too much for help but not enough to keep my head above water. My rent alone has gone up 400.00 because the landlord can rent it for more, what choice do I have. We want our kids to finish school in this area, it's important to us since we both come from military parents and moved around a lot as kids. We want to help them form those lifelong friendships and stay in their community which we never had as kids. This right now is literally keeping us in this home, fed, and mostly ok. I have been able to get back into therapy (co-pays add up!) the mental gymnastics of struggling parents is awful, I struggle to not blame myself and not being able to support my kids like kids should be. Physically not having to work overtime is very nice, I really just want to work and come home to my family instead of asking everyday if I can stay or maybe they could use me on one of my off days. Unfortunately most people know that I need the extra money and look at me with pity, for me this program allows me to not have to ask as much, to be able to leave at the end of my shift and go home to my family. I am not the best at writing and hope maybe you can find something in this mess to use to help more people. We just want to help people and hopefully by being in this program and talking about it we can get more people that help.” - Anonymous GRIT recipient
Anonymous use cases
• Mechanical repairs
• Traveling across country for a close friends funeral
• Taking single child to six flags for their birthday (first family outing in years)
• Young children getting to play football and soccer for the first time
• Increased quality family time
• Support graduate degree costs