When Michelle came into the Our Daily Bread Employment Center, she was nine months pregnant, distressed, angry and with feet so swollen her shoes could barely be removed.

She had exhausted all known options in the realm of housing and needed to find a place to stay before she gave birth, or her new baby and two other small children would be taken by Child Protective Services.

Michelle met with ODBEC caseworker, Mr. Dodd. The first step in helping Michelle and her family would be for Mr. Dodd to re-open Michelle’s Social Service case, to explore housing options and to seek emergency cash assistance. Shortly after Michelle had entered ODBEC, she was approved for expedited Food Stamps and left for the day to pick her children up from school.

After spending the night in an emergency shelter, Michelle returned to ODBEC the next morning to receive help locating housing for her family. Through the Information and Referral process, Mr. Dodd helped Michelle search for hours to find housing for her family, but there seemed to be no luck, as every facility they called was filled to capacity. Finally, a call to the Department of Human Services – Homeless Unit, lead to the discovery of a facility called Nights of Peace, a shelter that focuses on serving families with small children, including infants. Nights of Peace would be able to take Michelle and her family. ODBEC provided Michelle bus tokens to get her family to the shelter.

Michelle called later in the day to ask how she could get her children to their school in the city from Nights of Peace, which is located on the City/County line. Mr. Dodd contacted St. Ignatius Church and informed them of the situation, they were able to provide a check for a monthly bus pass. Mr. Dodd did not hear from Michelle for two weeks, but he held the check hoping she would return.

Finally, she had contacted him with news that she had given birth to a baby girl. Mr. Dodd gave Michelle the check and she was able to take her children to school and the newborn to her medical appointments. Michelle is still at Nights of Peace but is planning to move into permanent housing in the very near future.