Taking people from hardship to stability

Amanda* came to JCFS Chicago Financial Counseling looking for both financial
guidance and assistance. When she lost her husband to an illness in the spring of 2022,
she became a single parent to a very young child quite suddenly.
The Blum household was financially stable, with Amanda working part-time and her
husband working full-time. After her maternity leave Amanda returned to work and
enrolled in a part-time nursing program. When her husband got sick and eventually
passed away her income was not enough to cover the family’s expenses and her school
A JCFS Financial Counselor worked with Amanda to identify how much money was
coming in and get a better sense of her monthly expenses, identifying those that could
be lowered or eliminated. She was eager to understand the family finances since her
husband had managed the budget.
Tuition for Amanda’s nursing program was the one expense that she struggled to keep
up with, but she knew that getting her nursing license would not only fulfill her dream but
also provide a solid income. Amanda was connected with multiple resources to help her
continue her education — from subsidized childcare, a zero-interest payment plan for
her credit cards to applying for SNAP. All of this, along with Amanda’s hard work
allowed her to establish a path to financial stability. With some financial assistance from
JCFS for past due tuition, she now has a solid plan to finish her education, work part-
time and maintain a financially stable household.

* Name changed for confidentiality