This Mother's Day will be one Luz Figueroa* will never forget.
After years of abuse and fear at the hands of her children's father, after months of homelessness and desperation, she and her two sons are finally reunited in a home of their own. For that, Luz says, "I cannot thank the Coalition enough!"
Luz's story is one that thousands of vulnerable women share. She fell in love with a man she believed would cherish her and her family. But before long showed his true nature - angry, sadistic, unable to hold down a job. He blamed Luz for all his problems.
This toxic atmosphere was so damaging to Luz's teenage son that he left to live with his grandmother - a loss that was almost too much to for Luz to bear. Meanwhile, she was suffering from regular beatings. "He broke my lip three times. He stabbed me in the leg. And it got worse as the years went by," Luz remembers with a catch in her voice.
When her younger son became a victim, Luz knew she had to go - fleeing to an emergency shelter for battered women and their children. But this was only a temporary arrangement. To reunite her family, Luz needed to find a permanent home - and despite being employed, her poor credit history was a red flag to wary landlords.
That's when she turned to the Coalition's Rental Assistance Program (RAP). RAP rescues full-time workers like Luz who simply cannot make ends meet in New York's tough housing market. Our case managers helped Luz find a clean, affordable apartment, and our monthly stipends bridged the gap between her earnings and the cost of rent. RAP also offers job and financial counseling to help our clients increase their incomes - some by as much as 50 percent - while in the two-year program. I'm proud to tell you that over 85% of our residents ultimately become fully self-supporting by the time they graduate from RAP - saving City taxpayers millions of dollars in averted shelter costs.
"This is our home now," Luz says proudly. Finally, she and both her boys live together as a family. Her older son attends college locally, building a bright future, and her 5-year-old is settled in school.
As Mother's Day approaches, please consider honoring your mother with a gift to the Coalition. Include her name and email address or address in the comments section, and we will notify her of your gift. Make your gift today. Click here.
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