Leaving a Legacy

faniesha-fisher-003small3When Faniesha first came to the Coalition, she brought two daughters with her: a two-year-old and a newborn. Like all parents, Faniesha wanted the best life for her children. And like so many parents, she found that providing the best does not always come easily.

Faniesha lost her position as a crossing guard when she took time off to have her second child. Unable to secure another job in time to pay her rent, Faniesha began a desperate search for a shelter that would accept a family.

That’s when she found the Women’s Residential and Counseling Center (WRCC), the Coalition’s transitional housing facility for women and children. Since Faniesha would need an income to qualify for WRCC’s program, WRCC placed her family in temporary emergency beds until there was room at the Center for Women and Families (CWF) on the Coalition’s main campus. Within weeks, the family was settled into more permanent shelter in the CWF. Trying to scrape together her scattered dreams, Faniesha was temporarily overwhelmed by her circumstances. 

“When you have kids, you can’t just think of yourself. You’ve got to think about what is best for them,” she explains.

faniesha-fisher-014small2Like all clients in the Coalition’s case-managed programs, Faniesha was assigned to a case manager, who guided her in a plan to return her family to self-sufficiency. Faniesha also employed Goodwill Industries’ on-site job counseling and used select services from the Orange County Public School’s LifeStrides classroom, the adult education facility located on the Coalition’s main campus.

Soon, Faniesha interviewed with Greyhound Lines, Inc. and obtained a position as a baggage agent.

With her new income, Faniesha was able to progress to Scattered Site Housing, the Coalition’s program that helps clients secure affordable housing while providing temporary rental assistance. For Faniesha, this eventually enabled her to move into a two-bedroom apartment.

Faniesha couldn’t be more proud of her accomplishments – unless, of course, someone mentions her children.

“They are smart! It baffles me how much La’Niya’s speech has come along…she’s trying ABCs and some of the numbers…Laila is getting there, too.” Pleasure is evident in the young mother’s face as she gushes over her children.

“I want them to be smarter than me,” Faniesha asserts. “I guess every parent wants their kid to be smarter than them and make it farther than them.”

Even after all she has been through, this young mother can’t imagine a larger dream for her life than raising her children well. And for her, there could be no greater legacy.