JCFS Financial Counseling Takes People from Hardship to Stability

JCFS Financial Counseling Takes People from Hardship to Stability

Each person has a unique story, special circumstances AND has their own dreams. Amanda Blum* 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 tuition.

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