Imagine living paycheck to paycheck, unsure if you’ll meet your rent next month or where you’re even going to get your next meal. That’s the reality for many families in Central Florida. At least once in the past 12 months these families have had to choose between paying for food or utilities. That’s why JFS Orlando started the Family Stabilization Program (FSP) thirteen years ago.
FSP is a preventative case management program designed to help families become self-sufficient by teaching them critical skills and providing them with the tools to resolve crises and avoid future hardships while achieving long-term stability. Services include budgeting workshops, interview and job search tactics, mental health counseling, and food assistance. Since the program’s inception, FSP has served more than 650 families, impacting more than 1,900 individuals.
Shacrai is one of many participants enrolled in the current 2017-2018 FSP year. She was going through a transition point in her life and luckily heard about the program through a family friend.
Q. Which FSP services have impacted you the most so far?
The credit and finance seminars. Before coming to JFS I was fearful and embarrassed when dealing with credit and financial matters, but the direct counseling and seminars helped me face those fears and understand that it was a process and everything was going to be okay.
Q. What’s been the most helpful tool or skill you’ve gained from FSP?
When I first entered into the program I was asked to plan out a list of goals and benchmarks for what I hoped to gain from the program and where I wanted to be in six months. The most helpful tool I have gained was understanding that life is a process and, if planned correctly, you can overcome your hurdles and accomplish your goals.
Q. Where would you like to see yourself in the next year, once you complete the program?
I would like to continue to strive toward the goals that I have set for myself in finances, employment, and education. I want to continue to grow as an individual and understand that life is a roller coaster that is not perfect. In the next year, I would hope to be as debt free as possible and, of course, I would have to thank JFS for helping me realize that possibility.