Striving to thrive.
Meet the McKee Family
In March 2011, Jane McKee was pregnant and trying to figure out how to become the best mom she could be. She liked her life in Lower Bucks County, Pa., thanks to friends, an urban lifestyle, and the public transportation that helped her easily get to her job. But she knew that moving fifty miles north, closer to family, would propel her to a fresh start.
“I went to Crossroads Pregnancy Care and got counseling,” Jane says. “I watched educational videos, got ultrasounds, and earned points that I could redeem for diapers. The program was there for me at a critical time in my life.”
Six years later, Jane and her daughter, Dia, are renting a room in her family’s home; Dia is an active, curious kindergartener. But Jane wants more for the life she is carving out for the two of them.
By participating in a self-sufficiency program, Jane is making strides. “The program is designed to help people who want to get out of poverty,” she says. “I earned a scholarship to go back to school; I meet with my coach regularly; I get help with my taxes; and I’ve learned budgeting.” Jane’s strong school performance even helped her land a work promotion.
“I wouldn’t be anywhere today without the programs that have helped me,” Jane adds. “I was able to double my income from my minimum-wage job.”
Still, Jane worries about finances. She is grateful for financial assistance she received when an unexpected auto repair threatened her ability to commute to her job an hour away. “I earn too much to qualify for food stamps,” she says, “and I am careful not to take on student loans or extra costs.” But like many single moms, Jane struggles with the cost of child care. “At times, I have worked two or three jobs at once to make ends meet,” Jane adds.
Despite continuing financial pressures, progress has given her confidence in the future. “I’m working hard to get us into a place of our own,” Jane says, “Dia deserves it.”