Waypoint is nothing without our community. For over 125 years, the community has been the backbone of the critical work we do in order to provide proactive resources and research-based solutions for those in crisis. When you give a gift to Waypoint, you are not just providing us with financial resources, and you are not just providing our clients with food or shelter or access to resources. You are providing them hope and opportunity to move forward to a brighter future.
It is because of YOU that we can believe in world where every child has access to quality education. It is because of YOU that we can believe in a world where everyone has the right to a happy, healthy relationship free from violence. And it is because of YOU that we believe in a world where every family has a safe place to call home.
There are so many examples of the impact your support has had on our clients and our community, but we will share a few below:
Sandra, survivor of domestic violence
After unexpectedly losing her husband to COVID-19, Sandra was forced to move in with another family she knew in the community. After only a few days, the family started abusing her and her young daughter, physically, emotionally, and financially. Because Sandra and her daughter spoke limited English, they struggled to find help. Fortunately, another community member connected them with Waypoint.
Waypoint partnered with Embarc, a refugee social service agency, to find temporary shelter for Sandra and her daughter while developing a plan to obtain permanent housing. Together, this partnership allowed for Sandra and her daughter to receive culturally sensitive crisis intervention services and housing advocacy to ensure their needs were being met. During this time, Sandra was hired for a job at a local company, secured health insurance, and obtained permanent housing for her and her daughter. Sandra continues to work with a Waypoint Advocate to set goals, get access to resources, and continue to move forward in her life.
Mary, KidsPoint Child Care parent
Mary’s two children have been attending KidsPoint Child Care for years, but she only recently started working with the Family Support Program. As a single mom, finances are always tight, but 2020 hit her family hard. “With COVID-19, the Derecho, vehicle repairs, and more, I worry that the cost of child care may soon become too much to handle,” Mary said. The stability of having reliable, trustworthy child care is huge for Mary and her family. “The staff have been great, and the financial assistance I’ve received from the Family Support Program has helped so much and taken so much weight off my shoulders.”
Before COVID-19, Mary had begun saving for a house. For the past two years, she and her two children have been living in a two bedroom apartment. Unfortunately, those savings are now gone. “After a whirlwind of a year, we’re back to a worse place financially than when we started. I have no money saved, and I’m just trying to make it week to week.” But Mary is grateful for KidsPoint throughout all of this as she continued to have consistent care for her children, even when schools were closed, so she could work as much as possible. “I want to provide a better life for my kids,” Mary said. “They deserve a home to make memories in, not just a place to live. They deserve their own space, privacy, and stability in every way, and I know I can give that to them.” Because Mary has received tuition assistance from Waypoint to cover the costs of child care, she has been able pay her other bills and begin saving for a home for her family again.
Verna, Survivors’ Program client
Verna’s daughter was killed in a car accident in 2012, leaving behind three children ages 6, 7, and 10. Verna went to court following the accident and was able to gain guardianship of her grandchildren. Because the accident was considered vehicular homicide, Verna and her family were involved in many court hearings – this is where she connected with the Survivors’ Program.
Her Advocate went to every court hearing and parole board hearing over the four years that the perpetrator spent in jail and guided the family through the process, providing resources, comfort, and support. Today, Verna continues to work with the Survivors’ Program to gain support raising her three grandchildren. She also attends support group, which has been her lifeline. “You find out that you are not alone, that many others lose loved ones through homicide. The group helps you remember your loved one was real and here with us. They help with the grieving process and with adjusting to life without your loved one. The Survivors’ Program is invaluable,” Verna said.
Verna now serves as a mentor in the support group, supporting others who are experiencing things similar to what she and her family went through. She also supports Waypoint by planning a Survivors’ Candlelight Vigil in April in honor of Crime Victims’ Rights Week that celebrates those lost to homicide and violent crime.
Delah, Housing Program client
Delah and her two children came to Cedar Rapids after fleeing abuse from her partner. After asking around for support, she was eventually connected with Waypoint and a Housing Specialist. Delah and her two children stayed at the Madge Phillips Center Shelter while working with her Housing Specialist to secure permanent housing. Waypoint was even able to provide rental assistance to ensure that she and her family were stable. “Waypoint supported me in every way possible,” Delah said. When the Derecho hit, Delah’s son ended up in the hospital due to respiratory issues, and Waypoint was there to support with resources and transportation for her family. “The biggest thing Waypoint did for me was help me secure a job and an apartment,” Delah said. “I feel like I have finally gotten back on my feet and am finally thriving. My Housing Specialist has always gone the extra mile for me, and I truly appreciate that.”
If you believe in Waypoint and the impact our programs have on the community, please consider giving a gift by June 30. Your support will allow us to ensure that services for those experiencing homelessness, poverty, and violence or needing access to quality, affordable child care continue to be available for everyone. Give a gift on our website or become a monthly donor today!
April is National Volunteer Appreciation Month, which is a time to celebrate all the incredible individuals and groups who make an impact at Waypoint.
Join us in celebrating 30 amazing women who have made an impact in our community this past year.